Education and Workforce Development

July 7, 2017
In the early hours of the morning on July 4th, Maine Lawmakers enacted a two year budget that repealed the voter approved three percent surcharge on household income over $200,000 and gave a massive tax cut to the top two percent of households. This is the third biennial budget in eight years that contained tax breaks for the wealthiest Mainers. The top five percent of Mainers now pay the lowest effective tax rate on average compared to all other income groups. These tax breaks for the wealthiest come at a cost to investments in thriving communities and worsen income inequality.

Education and Workforce DevelopmentMaine is renowned for the productivity and strong work ethic of its labor force. To find and advance in well-paying jobs, Mainers must have a good education, preferably including college or other post-secondary degrees and certifications. In order to grow and compete in the national and global economies, Maine businesses need workers with the training and skills of the 21st century. MECEP research and analysis assist policymakers in assessing the effectiveness of specific programs and determining budget priorities. We also strive to identify policies that will make post-secondary education and job training more affordable and enable those seeking to advance their education to overcome obstacles like the cost of child care.

Most Recent
March 26, 2019
We all have heard the numbers about escalating student loan debt across the country. Maine is no exception. Residents of our state carry more than $6 billion in education debt.
December 19, 2018
Mainers are carrying nearly $6 billion in education debt. Large figures like that can be difficult to wrap our heads around, so think of it this way: If one dollar of our student loan debt was paid off every second of every day, it would take us more than 190 years to pay it off.
December 10, 2018
Summary: Higher education is a boon to graduates and Maine’s economy. It increases degree holders’ lifetime earnings, improves business competitiveness, and spurs consumer spending. But escalating college debt and rising rates of student loan defaults threaten to derail the benefits of higher education for Maine’s families and our economy.
November 29, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2018 CONTACT: Mario Moretto (MECEP): mario@mecep.org | (207) 460-4669 Ricardo Quinto (CRL): ricardo.quinto@responsiblelending.org. AUGUSTA, Maine – A new poll released today by the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) shows that student loan debt is preventing a staggering number of borrowers from buying a home (42 percent), saving for retirement (56 percent) or even covering the cost of basic necessities (35 percent). 
May 1, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2018 CONTACT: Mario Moretto, Communications Director mario@mecep.org (207) 620-1101 MECEP urges lawmakers to override LePage’s veto of Student Loan Bill of Rights AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Center for Economic Policy today called on lawmakers to override Gov.
February 16, 2018
On Tuesday, Maine’s Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon, presented a bill to reduce poverty by expanding access to education and job training. The legislation will lift Mainers out of poverty and increase participants’ lifetime earnings — the knock-on effect of which will support Maine’s economy at large.
September 5, 2017
When contrasted with the tax breaks the top 2 percent of Mainers will enjoy over the next two years, the increased school funding looks like less of a victory for schools and more like a consolation prize.
July 7, 2017
In the early hours of the morning on July 4th, Maine Lawmakers enacted a two year budget that repealed the voter approved three percent surcharge on household income over $200,000 and gave a massive tax cut to the top two percent of households. This is the third biennial budget in eight years that contained tax breaks for the wealthiest Mainers. The top five percent of Mainers now pay the lowest effective tax rate on average compared to all other income groups. These tax breaks for the wealthiest come at a cost to investments in thriving communities and worsen income inequality.
June 29, 2017
A vibrant economy that works for everyone needs strong public services, and above all, good schools. And that requires everyone to pay their fair share towards those services.
June 23, 2017
A new report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) highlights another way that the very companies that are supposed to be helping Maine student loan borrowers are cheating them.