COVID-19 Learning Loss: What it means for TX’s economy

How can COVID-19 learning loss affect Texas’ economy?

In the 2022 Nation’s Report Card results, Texas fared better than many other states; however, the economic impacts on students and the state remain sizable, according to a recent report by the Hoover Institution.

The analysis released in early January discusses the potential impact of COVID-19 learning loss to Texas’ economy. To assess the impact, researchers focused on 8th grade performance, comparing 2022 performance against 2019 levels.

The report reveals that Texas students in the COVID cohort can expect on average 4.9% lower lifetime earnings with a Texas Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss slightly over 1.5%, or $938.7 billion.

The findings are consistent with an analysis by the Penn Wharton University of Pennsylvania, which projected a 1.4% loss in U.S. GDP by 2051.

While Texas performs better than many other states in the analysis, the impact of learning losses should still remain top-of-mind.  

“History indicates that the economic losses will be permanent unless the schools get better,” the report states. “Recovering from the pandemic requires swift and decisive improvements to the schools.”

The big takeaway? If schools return to pre-pandemic practices, there’s a chance it could halt increases in learning losses; however, it could also leave this generation and nation worse off.