Texas 2036 Report
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Policy Pillars

Education & Workforce

Pillar 02
Pillar 02

Texans have the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.

Focus

The Texas economy increasingly depends on a highly educated workforce. By 2036, 71% of jobs in Texas will require a postsecondary credential.
02-01

02-01

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Custom Projection for Texas 2036, March 2020.

But only 32% of high school graduates earn a postsecondary credential within six years of graduating from high school.
02-02

02-02

Percentage of Class of 2011 high school graduates who earned a certificate or degree from a higher education institution within six years of high school graduation; includes Level 1 and Level 2 certificates, two-year degrees, and four-year degrees. Texas Education Agency, Texas Academic Performance Report, 2017-18 State Postsecondary Outcomes Summary. https://rptsvr1.tea.texas.gov/cgi/sas/broker?_service=marykay&_debug=0&single=N&batch=N&app=PUBLIC&ptype=H&_program=perfrept.perfmast.sas&level=state&search=distnum&namenum=&prgopt=2019/tapr/ps_outcomes_sum.sas.

When compared with Peer States, Texas comes in last in the percentage of its population with a postsecondary credential.
02-03

02-03

Based on comparison to selected Peer States (Texas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington) for percentage of population age 25 to 64 with a postsecondary credential. Lumina Foundation, A Stronger Nation, State-by-State Educational Attainment, 2019. http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/2020/#nation.

Texas also needs a stronger, more skilled workforce to be considered the best place to do business, both nationally and internationally. When searching for a location for its second headquarters, Amazon listed a highly educated labor pool as a critical requirement. Other companies will certainly do the same. Today, migrants from other states and countries are 1.5 times more likely than native Texans to have a bachelor’s degree, and Texas has relied on these migrants to meet workforce needs.
02-04

02-04

Based on comparison of educational attainment of bachelors degrees between native population and domestic and international migrants. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Southwest Economy, Q1 2018, Gone to Texas: Migration Vital to Growth in Lone Star State, Chart 4. https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/research/swe/2018/swe1801b.pdf.

But with migration slowing in recent years, it is increasingly important that today’s Texans are more highly educated.
02-05

02-05

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Southwest Economy, Q1 2018, Gone to Texas: Migration Vital to Growth in Lone Star State. https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/research/swe/2018/swe1801b.pdf.

The education system is a direct pipeline to a highly skilled workforce. Early learning prepares students for success in elementary, middle, and high school education, which in turn prepares them for success in postsecondary education; and then postsecondary prepares students for success in the workforce. Yet Texas is falling behind at every stage of the pipeline. Texas ranks last among Peer States in early literacy
02-06

02-06

Based on comparison to selected Peer States (Texas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington) on percentage of students at or above Proficient on the NAEP Grade 4 reading assessment. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Grade 4 Reading Assessment, 2019. https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/.

and only half of Texas students are graduating from high school ready for postsecondary education.
02-07

02-07

Percentage of annual graduates of Class of 2018 that met at least one of the College Ready indicators. Texas Education Agency, Texas Academic Performance Report, 2018-19 State College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR): College Ready Graduates. https://tea.texas.gov/student-testing-and.accountability/accountability/state-accountability/performance-reporting/texas-0

Persistent achievement gaps exist throughout Texas' educational pipeline based on student income, race, geography, and language proficiency. A highly educated workforce is also critical to ensuring all Texans have the opportunity to have careers that bring economic security. Workers with a postsecondary credential are four times as likely to hold a good job (median earnings of $65,000 per year) as workers with no more than a high school diploma.
02-08

02-08

Workers with a postsecondary degree or credential account for 80% of good jobs in the United States; workers with a high school diploma or less account for 20% of good jobs. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs, 2018. https://1gyhoq479ufd3yna29x7ubjn-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/3ways-FR.pdf.

Yet barely two out of five Texans have that level of education.
02-09

02-09

Based on percent of population age 25 to 64 with a postsecondary credential. Lumina Foundation, A Stronger Nation, State-by-State Educational Attainment, 2019. http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/2020/#nation.

A strong public education system undergirds a strong society. With a growing and increasingly diverse population, Texas relies on its public schools to prepare students not only to be effective workers, but also to be engaged, productive members of society. Through civics, history, and other topics, students learn shared values as well as how participation and good citizenship strengthen our democracy.

A strong education system today ensures a strong workforce, a prosperous economy, and a civically engaged population tomorrow.

Goal and Targets for Texas 2036
Goal #3 - Early Learning: Texas children get a strong early start.
• Target: 75% of 3rd graders read on grade level and Texas ranks in the Top 3 in 4th grade reading among Peer States by 2036.
• Baseline: 45% of Texas 3rd graders read on grade level. Texas ranks 12th among Peer States in 4th grade reading, with 30% of students reading on grade level.
Goal #4 - K-12: Texas students graduate high school ready for postsecondary success.
• Target: 75% of high school graduates are prepared for postsecondary education by 2036.
• Baseline: 50% of high school graduates are ready for postsecondary education.
Goal #5 - Postsecondary Education: Texas students earn a postsecondary credential to access the jobs of today and tomorrow.
• Target: 75% of high school graduates earn a postsecondary degree or credential within six years of high school graduation by 2036.
• Baseline: 32% of high school graduates earn a postsecondary degree or credential within six years of high school graduation.
Goal #6 - Jobs: Texans have the knowledge and skills to access careers enabling economic security.
• Target: Texas ranks in the Top 3 among Peer States for households that earn a living wage by 2036.
• Baseline: Texas ranks sixth among Peer States, with 58% of Texas households earning a living wage.

Goal #7 - Workforce Needs: Texans meet the state’s current and future workforce needs, minimizing the gap between supply and demand by 2036, especially in key sectors.

No indicator has been selected. While organizations such as the Texas Workforce Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics produce public workforce projections, data does not reliably reflect the changing labor market and is available only at the occupation level, not the skill level.

Context

Approximately 5.4 million students attend Texas public schools, with 94% enrolled in independent school districts and 6% in public charter schools.
02-10

02-10

Texas Education Agency, Texas Academic Performance Report, 2018-19 State Student Information. https://tea.texas.gov/student-testing-and.accountability/accountability/state-accountability/performance-reporting/texas-0.

The state has 1,200 independent and charter school districts. While most districts are small and rural,
02-11

02-11

Ibid.

the 10 largest districts combined enroll more than 1 million students.
02-12

02-12

Ibid.

Approximately 52% of Texas public school students are Hispanic, 27% are white, and 13% are Black; 61% of students are economically disadvantaged, meaning they qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch, and 20% are English-language learners, meaning they have a different primary language and are in the process of Learning English.
02-13

02-13

Ibid.

Texas public schools employ more than 700,000 people, 49.8% of whom are full-time teachers.
02-14

02-14

Texas Education Agency, Texas Academic Performance Report, 2018-19 State Staff Information. https://tea.texas.gov/student-testing-and.accountability/accountability/state-accountability/performance-reporting/texas-0.

Texas' teachers are overwhelmingly white (58%) and female (76%).
02-15

02-15

Texas Education Agency, Texas Academic Performance Report, 2018-19 State Staff Information. https://tea.texas.gov/student-testing-and.accountability/accountability/state-accountability/performance-reporting/texas-0.

On average, our teachers have over a decade of teaching experience and earn roughly $53,000 per year.
02-16

02-16

Texas Education Agency, Texas Academic Performance Report, 2018-19 State Staff Information. https://tea.texas.gov/student-testing-and.accountability/accountability/state-accountability/performance-reporting/texas-0.

Texas public schools are overseen by local school boards and charter governing bodies, which have authority over priorities, policies, and budgets. The Texas Education Agency provides system-wide oversight, including funding distribution, educator preparation standards, curriculum standards, student assessments, and school accountability. In 2018, Texas public schools received more than $63 billion in funding. The majority of funding comes from local property taxes and state revenue, while federal funding accounts for roughly 10%. Funding is distributed to districts through formulas based on enrollment and other factors.
02-17

02-17

Based on total revenue from all funds. Texas Education Agency, Public Education Information Management System , 2017-18 Actual Financial Data. https://rptsvr1.tea.texas.gov/cgi/sas/broker?_service=marykay&_program=sfadhoc.actual_report_2018.sas&_service=appserv&_debug=0&who_box=&who_list=_STATE.

In 2018, total per-pupil funding from all sources was approximately $11,700.
02-18

02-18

Based on total revenue from all funds. Texas Education Agency, Public Education Information Management System , 2017-18 Actual Financial Data. https://rptsvr1.tea.texas.gov/cgi/sas/broker?_service=marykay&_program=sfadhoc.actual_report_2018.sas&_service=appserv&_debug=0&who_box=&who_list=_STATE.

Approximately 1.7 million students attend Texas public higher education institutions,with 48% of students enrolled in four-year institutions and 52% enrolled in two-year institutions.
02-19

02-19

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2019 Texas Public Higher Education Almanac, Statewide Enrollment at Two-Year and Four-Year Institutions, p. 12. https://reportcenter.thecb.state.tx.us/agency-publication/almanac/2019-texas-public-higher-education-almanac/.

52% of students are economically disadvantaged, meaning they have received a Pell grant at one point.
02-20

02-20

Based on percentage of students categorized as ever received Pell and within one or two years of graduation. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2019 Texas Public Higher Education Almanac, Enrollment of Economically Disadvantaged Students. https://reportcenter.thecb.state.tx.us/agency-publication/almanac/2019-texas-public-higher-education-almanac/

Texas public higher education institutions are overseen by governing boards. Appointed by the governor at four-year universities and locally elected at two-year colleges, these boards have authority over institutional priorities and budgets. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board provides system-wide oversight through statewide planning, data collection and analysis, and the distribution of some funding. The Texas Legislature appropriated $21.9 billion in funding to public higher education institutions for the 2020-2021 biennium, with a combination of state funds, federal funds, institutional funds, and tuition and fees.
02-21

02-21

Texas Legislative Budget Board, Updated 2018-19 and 2020-21 Appropriations Tables, September 2019, p.3, Article III, Higher Education. https://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Documents/Appropriations_Bills/86/Conference_Bills/5872_S12_Bill_Summary.pdf

The Texas civilian labor force includes over 14 million workers.
02-22

02-22

Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Labor Market Information, Texas Labor Market Highlights December 2019. https://texaslmi.com/.

The Texas Workforce Commission collects and disseminates workforce data, including analysis of labor market trends and shifts in occupations and industries in the state. Together with 28 local workforce development boards, the Commission also oversees a wide array of services to both employers and job seekers, including job training, adult education programs, and employer-based Learning programs. In addition, the Commission provides annual grants for workforce training and retraining through a partnership with businesses, public community and technical colleges, and economic development organizations.
02-23

02-23

Refers to Skills Development Fund. Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Workforce Consolidated Report to the 86th Legislature, December 2019. https://twc.texas.gov/files/twc/2019-twc-consolidated-annual-report.twc.pdf.

This program has trained more than 385,000 workers over the past 20 years.
02-24

02-24

Refers to Skills Development Fund. Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Workforce Consolidated Report to the 86th Legislature, December 2019. https://twc.texas.gov/files/twc/2019-twc-consolidated-annual-report.twc.pdf.