Gov. Healey announces $14.4 million increase proposal for Innovation Pathways programs statewide
CHELMSFORD, MA (Apr. 13, 2023) – Governor Maura Healey and her administration visited the Innovation Pathways classrooms at Chelmsford High School Thursday afternoon, where she announced Innovation Pathways designations to 27 schools statewide.
With these new programs, nearly one in five public high schools in Massachusetts will be offering Innovation Career Pathways, which give students hands-on coursework and work-based learning experiences in specific high-demand industries, such as Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Environmental and Life Sciences, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Business and Finance.
Governor Healey made the announcement today at CHS which currently offers its students pathways in the fields of Business & Finance, Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, and Life Sciences, and is a model of what a successful Innovation Pathways program can look like.
“It was exciting to see the technical hands-on training that Chelmsford High School is able to offer through their Innovation Career Pathways program and hear from students about how much they value the opportunity to participate in industry credential programs and internships,” said Governor Healey. “When it comes to our students, we want to give them a leg up in preparation for key industries — like health care, computer science, manufacturing, and engineering — which is exactly what Innovation Career Pathways achieve. That’s why we’re thrilled to expand this program and award 27 schools new Innovation Career Pathways across the Commonwealth, and why we’ve proposed a $14.4 million increase in our FY24 budget for Innovation Career Pathways and Early College for further expansion next year.”
Both Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll toured three classrooms during their visit, including the Business/Finance class led by educator Andy Shupe, the Robotics lab of David Steeves, and the Biotechnology lab of Dr. Linda Tanini, recipient of the Massachusetts Outstanding Biology Teacher Award in June 2022.
Stephanie Quinn, K-12 Coordinator of Social Sciences at Chelmsford, and Jon Morris, K-12 Science Coordinator, who oversee the Innovation Pathways program at CHS, agreed the Governor’s visit was an honor and seminal occasion for the Innovation Pathways program at CHS.
“It was an honor to have Governor Healey and her administration in our classrooms at Chelmsford High School today,” said Mr. Morris. “We are extremely proud of the effort and the terrific progress of the Innovation Pathways program at CHS. We’re looking forward to growing our programs and sending our students to college and the workforce very well educated and prepared.”
The Healey-Driscoll Administration predicts that in Fall 2023, over 820 additional students will be enrolled in these 35 new Innovation Career Pathways programs, with total enrollment across the state projected to exceed 6,500 students. Nineteen of the high schools earning designations this year will be offering Innovation Career Pathways for the first time – comprising of 70 percent of awardees.
With these new designations, the total number of Innovation Career Pathways programs will now increase to 183 pathways at 78 schools across the Commonwealth. Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll’s FY24 budget proposal includes nearly $47 million for Early College and Innovation Career Pathways, a $14.4 million increase from FY23, to continue expanding college and career readiness options for students across the Commonwealth.
“Expanding Innovation Career Pathways is one way we are helping transform the traditional high school experience. As we reimagine high school in the Commonwealth, we are focused on increasing student engagement and creating new opportunities to access the tools and learn the skills that students need for their future career or college plans,” said Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler, who was also in attendance. “Today I had the opportunity to hear from school leaders, students, and workforce partners who all agree that Innovation Career Pathways are having an impact, opening doors for students and industry employers alike.”
“Innovation Career Pathways are creating opportunities for many students across the Commonwealth, helping students find out sooner and without any cost to them if what they are learning is something they want to pursue as a career,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “It’s great to see such a successful program expand to so many new schools across Massachusetts.”
About Chelmsford Public Schools
The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit www.chelmsfordschools.org.