Across the country, state legislatures have been reducing government support to the nation’s colleges and universities.This financial squeeze and heightened government scrutiny of higher-ed practices have prompted college insiders to complain that state lawmakers don’t understand what colleges do. And some grumble that plenty of these politicians don’t even have a college degree.
In reaction to the complaints, The Chronicle of Higher Education conducted an analysis of the educational attainment of the nation’s roughly 7,000 state lawmakers. The research pinpointed which states have the most educated legislators and which ones the least.
Below you’ll find the states where the greatest and least number of legislators have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. Across the country, 74.7% of state lawmakers possess at least a bachelor’s degree.
5 Most Educated State Legislatures
- California 89.9%
- Virginia 88.6%
- Nebraska 87.3%
- New York 86.8%
- Texas 86.2%
5 Least Educated State Legislatures
- New Hampshire 53.4%
- Maine 58%
- Delaware 59.7%
- New Mexico 59.7%
- Arkansas 60.4%
Americans Who Possess College Degrees
Clearly state legislators are more educated than their constituents since only 28% of American adults possess a bachelor’s degree. State politicians, however, aren’t as educated as the pols in Congress. Only four out of 535 Congressmen do not have a college degree. What’s more, three out of every four U.S. Senators and 65% of U.S. representatives possess an advanced degree.
Do More Degrees = More College Funding?
So does all this education or lack of education really impact higher-ed appropriations? According to The Chronicle research, there is no correlation between the educational attainment of the lawmakers and how much they appropriate to higher education.
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