Thursday, December 11, 2014

Poorest states cut what experts say could help the most: higher ed - Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report

48 of the 50 states are making similar choices, having squeezed their higher-education budgets so tightly that they’re spending a collective 23 percent less, on average, than they did at the start of the recession on their public universities and colleges, according to the independent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. These include such places as Maine and Mississippi, with high rates of poverty and lower-than-average levels of college education. Even at their current pace of production, and before the cuts, neither state will come anywhere near the 60 percent of residents with postsecondary degrees that policymakers have set as a goal for 2025, by which time the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce predicts that 65 percent of new jobs will require them. The center estimates that the nation will fall five million short of the number of workers it needs with postsecondary education as soon as 2020.

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