Improve Education Or Imperil Economy, Tank Says


The Public Policy Institute of California (motto: "Informing and improving public policy through independent, objective, nonpartisan research") recently published a report titled, "Educating California: Choices For the Future."

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Written by PPIC Associate Director Hans Johnson, the report lays out a straightforward vision -- complete with colorful bar graphs and easy-to-read double-spaced, sans serif text -- of the Golden State's golden years being behind us if California doesn't quickly begin doing a better of job of educating K-12 graders.

Part of the issue is demographics, Johnson writes, with baby boomers set to retire and a predicted shortage of highly educated workers due by 2025. Another key topic: high high school dropout rates.

"In the near future," the report states, "California will have too few college-educated workers and too many less-educated adults."

Far from wonkish, Johnson's text intends to point out a coming potential crisis, not to offer up micro-solutions. For example, at least by TTLA's reading, the PPIC doesn't offer up specific legislative funding solutions. But the dire generalities, even couched in occasional equivocations (a "could" here, a question mark after a seemingly declarative statment there), are vital.

"Shortchanging education for quick budget fixes," the text concludes, "is a short-sighted approach that could seriously undermine California's economic future."

A .PDF download of the report is available here.

Photo Credit: The image accompanying this post was taken by Flickr user Bredgur. It was used under Creative Commonslicense.

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