A strong education system today ensures a strong workforce and a prosperous economy tomorrow.
The Texas economy increasingly depends on a highly educated workforce. By 2036, more than 70% of jobs in Texas will require a postsecondary credential. But today, fewer than 1 in 3 Texas high school graduates obtain a postsecondary credential within six years of graduation. In 2019, Texas was 11th among 12 peer states in the percentage of population with a postsecondary credential.
A strong education system creates a direct pipeline of highly skilled workers. Early learning is critical to helping students succeed in primary and secondary school, and prepare for college or a career.
Unfortunately, Texas ranks last among our peer states in a measure of early literacy, fourth-grade reading, and second-to-last in a measure of proficiency in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses: eighth-grade math achievement, as of the most recent assessment in 2020. Two-thirds of Texas students are graduating from high school ready for postsecondary education. In addition, achievement gaps based on student income, race, region, and language proficiency persist throughout Texas’ education system.
A highly educated workforce is also critical to ensuring economic security for all Texans. Workers with a postsecondary credential are four times as likely to hold a good job (earning around $65,000 or more per year) as workers with only a high school diploma — but barely two of five Texas workers have such a credential. Texas has historically relied on highly educated newcomers to meet its workforce needs; Texas must invest in education so current residents can fill these higher-paying jobs.