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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: More college degrees mean more earnings for workers

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Monday, January 22, 2024   

Attainment of college degrees has gone up across the nation - and that's good news for workers, according to a new report.

An analysis from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce finds the percentage of adults who hold a degree increased from about 38% to 45% between 2010 and 2020.

The rate was slightly lower in Idaho, increasing 5.5% percent. However, report Co-author Jeff Strohl - director of research at the center - said the state still is making progress.

"While it is the case that the economy in Idaho has not grown as much as the nation, it has certainly been ratcheting up," said Strohl, "and you can see it in the redistribution of important sectors."

Strohl said the state is making gains in sectors like aerospace and nuclear research.

According to the Georgetown report, the rise in degree attainment means U.S. workers will earn an additional $14 trillion over their lifetimes.

However, the report has an important caveat - attainment gaps persist for people of color. In Idaho, degree attainment is 22% lower for Hispanic and Latino adults.

Strohl said the country's Hispanic population surged in the 1990s, when many Hispanic adults had high school diplomas or less. But that's set to change.

"One thing we do see with the Hispanic population overall," said Strohl, "is the next generation from that boom in '90s are sending their kids to school - at an extremely high rate, to college."

Anthony Carnevale, the report's lead author and the director of the Georgetown Center, said one way to close racial gaps in attainment is to start early - by focusing on pre-K and K-12 education.

"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."

Carnevale added that career counseling is largely absent in schools.

He said he thinks one improvement would be more focus on post-secondary credentials beyond bachelors degrees, including career and technical training.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.




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