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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

More Americans 'learning and earning,' but college degree gaps persist

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Monday, January 22, 2024   

The U.S. has seen an increase in the percentage of adults with college degrees, which helps boost their lifetime earnings.

But a new report shows the nation still has trouble closing racial gaps for higher education attainment, including in Wisconsin.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce says between 2010 and 2020, the proportion of U.S. residents with degrees increased by nearly 7%, leading to $14 trillion in additional net earnings over workers' lifetimes.

However, Center Director Tony Carnevale said even though all racial groups saw positive movement, there was no substantial change in narrowing gaps.

"What we have here is a race in which everybody is running faster," said Carnevale, "but no group is really changing their position in the race."

He said that undermines efforts to establish racial and economic justice.

According to state-level data within the report, Wisconsin mirrored national progress - with a 7% increase in degree attainment. The racial gap narrowed for Latino adults, but widened for Black adults.

If the U.S. wants to get serious about eliminating these disparities, Carnevale said it starts with creating an even playing field in early childhood education and K-12 schools.

"Getting from childhood to a good job in the United States is a long walk," said Carnevale, "and you have to focus every step of the way. Because the way the American system works is that people from less advantaged families begin to lose ground in the early grades."

The report authors say if all racial and ethnic groups had the same college degree attainment as white adults, the nation's workers would see an additional $11 trillion in lifetime earnings.

That would be on top of the $14 trillion already forecast.

The summary included data for associate, bachelor's and graduate degrees.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.




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