ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: EDUCATION


Many Texans are poor, not because they don't work, but because their work pays too little to raise a family out of poverty. To ensure economic prosperity, Texas public policy must support work, make work pay, and help families build their assets. The most important thing the state can do to enhance economic opportunity is to invest in public education—from early childhood education all the way through higher education.

Recent Education Publications

OpportunityTexas: Learn. Earn. Save. (12/9/2010)
Texas faces numerous challenges but also has abundant opportunities to build the middle class and increase prosperity. Unfortunately, too many Texans are on the sideline, lacking access to opportunities to learn, earn, and save to secure a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.

To create jobs, increase income, and promote savings, Texas must develop and expand programs and policies to ensure greater prosperity for all Texans.

Texas Tuition Promise Fund: Using College Savings To Increase College Success (06/28/2010)

The old saying, “You have to learn to earn,” underscores the importance of investing in higher education. Yet rising tuition, limited financial aid, and a lack of savings keeps college out of reach, and out of mind, for many Texas families, especially low-income families.

Although the Legislature created the Texas Tuition Promise Fund explicitly to reach low-income students, an analysis of the plan’s first two years demonstrates that students who most need college savings accounts largely remain untouched.

To close the gaps, the state must align its college savings plans and master plan for higher education to seamlessly provide incentives for economically disadvantaged students to begin college savings.

Turning Community College Drop-outs into Graduates (04/22/2010)

Texas community colleges have a high dropout rate, which limits economic opportunity for Texans and poses a major barrier to building and sustaining a skilled workforce. Although two-thirds of Texas college-bound high school graduates are prepared for college work, a large number of recent graduates and adults returning to pursue higher education are not college ready. Those underprepared for college face the hurdle of completing remedial courses-known as developmental education-in one or all core subject areas of math, reading, and writing--before enrolling in credit-bearing coursework.

Nationally, fewer than 40 percent of students who are referred to developmental education actually enroll in college-level courses. With emerging demand for higher-skilled workers, developmental education reforms are key to maximizing access to good jobs and moving the Texas economy forward.

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