- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Education is always a critical issue in campaigns for governor in a state that prides itself on a knowledge-based economy. This year is no different.

Each of the five Democratic and Republican candidates for governor have outlined plans ahead of the Sept. 9 primaries that they say will help improve and expand access to education and keep Massachusetts among the top rung of states in the national rankings.

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STEVEN GROSSMAN

Grossman said he would launch a universal prekindergarten program available to every child in the state, invest more resources in public higher education, and freeze tuition and fees at state public colleges and universities for the next four years.

“The zip code in which you live or in which you were born must never determine the quality of the education you receive,” he said.

The state treasurer and Democrat said he would also bring Wi-Fi infrastructure into every public school and expand so-called STEM programs that currently focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to include the arts, which he said is critical in a 21st century innovation economy.

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MARTHA COAKLEY

Coakley said she, too, wants to ensure universal access to high quality early education, beginning with universal access for children in the state’s older, financially strapped municipalities known as Gateway Cities.

Coakley, the state attorney general and Democrat, also said she wants to expand learning time to allow for more one-on-one instruction and enrichment programs like art and music, expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, especially computer science, and better align training at vocational schools and community colleges with the state’s workforce needs.

“We have a responsibility to help every child in Massachusetts reach his or her full potential,” Coakley said.

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DONALD BERWICK

Berwick said if elected he will invest in universal prekindergarten and support low-income and single-parent families to make sure every child in Massachusetts is ready for school.

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