Following a visit to Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School today,\u00a0Governor Charlie Baker released a video\u00a0capturing moments from a statewide education tour, where\u00a0he and members of the administration\u00a0visited elementary, vocational technical and early education schools to highlight successful programs\u00a0and\u00a0announce new programs aimed at college affordability and completion.\n\n\u201cWe have spent the last month in classrooms across Massachusetts, and our administration is proud of the hard work invested in learning and skill building throughout the system,\u201d\u00a0said Governor Charlie Baker. \u201cWe\u00a0will continue to focus on opportunities, from early education to affordable college tuition rates, to strengthen every community and provide a bright future for our students.\u201d\n\nOn May 16th:\u00a0Governor Baker\u00a0and Secretary Peyser visited the\u00a0Forest Park Middle School in Springfield\u00a0to hear from teachers and principals about the school district\u2019s improvement efforts through the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership. The Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership, finishing its second academic year, is an innovative approach the school district adopted voluntarily in an effort to improve underperforming schools.\u00a0\n\nOn May 24th:\u00a0Governor Baker and Secretary Peyser visited\u00a0Bentley Elementary School in Salem\u00a0to hear about its successful turnaround efforts; also visited a Head Start program located at the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council; and on May 31 toured Leominster High School\u2019s Career and Technical Innovation Center to see equipment the school purchased with a $227,000 Skills Capital Grant awarded last year.\u00a0\u00a0\n\nOn\u00a0May 22nd:\u00a0Governor Baker\u00a0announced the expansion of a\u00a0dual enrollment program between Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the John D. O\u2019Bryant School of Math and Science in Roxbury.\u00a0College officials pledged to fully-fund financial aid needs for qualified students from the John D. O\u2019Bryant High School who are enrolled in the dual enrollment program and admitted to the Academy.\u00a0\n\nOn May 30th:\u00a0\u00a0Governor Baker\u00a0and\u00a0Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the creation of\u00a0The Boston Bridge, a tuition-free pilot program for 2017 high school graduates who live in the City of Boston. The goal of the historic partnership between the City and the Commonwealth is to eliminate financial barriers that prevent low-income students from going to college full-time, in order to boost college completion rates.\n\n\u201cBoston Bridge is not just about access to college; it\u2019s not just about low-cost or affordable college. It\u2019s about college success and completion. This is about encouraging students and providing incentives for students to go to school full-time and complete on time,\u201d\u00a0Education Secretary James Peyser said.\n\nOn June 2nd:\u00a0Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, along with Secretary Peyser, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II\u00a0awarded $2.2 million in Skills Capital Grants to 10 vocational high schools. Since creating the grants last year, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $26.4 million in Skills Capital Grants to schools that partner with local businesses to align curriculum and credentials with businesses\u2019 demand to maximize hiring opportunities.\n\nGovernor Baker wrapped up the tour today with a visit to Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School to see the school\u2019s new veterinarian facility. Monty Tech received a $136,000 Skills Capital Grant award last year, which helped the school develop the new veterinarian program. Students enrolled in the school\u2019s construction program built a 7,500-square-foot vet facility, which will open in September.\n\nSince taking office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has proposed increasing spending on all K-12 schools by more than $318 million. Earlier this year, after years of nominal increases for providers, Governor Baker proposed a 6% rate increase for early education providers, worth more than $28 million, which includes plans to increase annual support for infant and toddler providers by more than $9 million. Massachusetts was recently ranked #1 in the country for education by U.S. News and World Report, and also tops the list for best performing states on Advanced Placement Exams.