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Report: CT’s Broken Budget, Education System Puts Future Economy at Risk

July 16, 2018 By Staff
Report: CT’s Broken Budget, Education System Puts Future Economy at Risk

A new University of Pennsylvania study ranks Connecticut at 44th out of 50 states in the university's "College Opportunity Risk Assessment" study.

Connecticut, more than most other states in the union, is not preparing its workforce for the economy of the future.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education recently released a state-by-state comparison of “College Opportunity Risk” (h/t WNPR, who first reported on the study).

Connecticut ranks 44th out of 50 states on risk.

Intersecting risks related to educational performance, educational equity, higher education funding and productivity, and state economy and finances threaten Connecticut’s ability to provide the number of educated workers that its economy needs.

…The nation will need 60% of its workforce to have college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications, and other high-quality college credentials by 2025. In 2016, 53.8% of Connecticut residents had these credentials.

Particularly high risks for the state include three of Penn’s four major risk categories: education performance, higher education funding & productivity, and state economy & finances.

The latter should come as no surprise to Reclaim Connecticut readers. Here’s where Penn ranked Connecticut on state economic indicators:

  • “Volatility of General Fund Expenditures”: 27th of 50 states
  • “State Gross Domestic Product”: 5th of 50
  • “New Economy Index”: 10th of 50
  • “State Reserves”: 44th of 50
  • “State Debt and Unfunded Liabilities”: 47th of 50
  • “Income Inequality”: 49th of 50

However, Connecticut also ranks low in:

  • “[C]ommunity college students earn[ing] an associate’s degree within three years”: 15.5 percent, ranked 49th of 50
  • College affordability: 44th of 50
  • “High school completion equity,” or the “graduation gap between white students and students from all other racial and ethnic groups”: 42nd of 50

Education has been subservient to a whole host of other issues on the gubernatorial campaign trail this year (the budget, the state economy, business retention). With this new study, though, the issue may pick up steam among candidates and voters ahead of contentious primary elections.