Education & Workforce

Bridging the Gap Between Educational Attainment and Workforce Demands

Overview

To support our growing economy, Texas needs substantial economic growth, adding nearly 8 million new jobs by 2036. Over 75% of those new jobs will soon require a post-secondary credential. Our future depends on education. But more than half of Texans between 25 and 34 have not completed any form of postsecondary education.

To meet the demands of a 21st century economy, Texas will require meaningful changes to our education system. Texas needs – right now – innovative thinking and sustained investments to produce a workforce that will maintain our state’s prosperity.

Facts

  • The total enrollment of Texas public schools exceeds 5.3 million students.

    Over the last 10 years, enrollment has increased 15.8%, which is the fastest growth in the country.

  • Texas students struggle in early literacy.

    Only 41% of third-graders meet grade-level standards on state reading assessments (NAEP).

  • Most Texas high school students graduate, but only about half of them are college-ready.

    The graduation rate is about 90 percent, but the state deems only 47% of Texas high school graduates college-ready. Among economically disadvantaged students, only 36% are college-ready.

  • Many of those who enter higher education do not finish.

    Within six years of enrolling, only 62% of public 4-year university students and 37% of public 2-year college students earn a degree.

  • In order to meet economic demands, Texas must increase postsecondary completion.

    Just 44% of Texans between 25 and 34 have a postsecondary degree or certificate. 

  • Almost 60% of students in Texas public schools are economically disadvantaged, qualifying for a free or reduced price lunch.

    The number of students from low-income families is growing faster than overall student enrollment. 

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