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Middle Class Series: Middle-Class Societies Invest More in Public Education

A Stronger Middle Class Is Associated with Higher Levels of Spending on Education

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Read the full report (CAP Action)

See also: The Middle Class Is Key to a Better-Educated Nation by David Madland and Nick Bunker

America’s economic future depends in large part on the quality of our nation’s public education. Education increases productivity, sparks innovation, and boosts our economic competitiveness. In a globally competitive environment, we can’t afford to have a poorly educated workforce.

To boast a world-class public education system requires investments. Alas, we have not invested as much as needed to stay ahead of our international competitors, and the results are clear: Fifteen countries now have higher college graduation rates than us, and our average test scores are lower than those of not just peer countries but also less wealthy places such as Slovenia and Poland.

Not surprisingly, the American public thinks we should be making greater investments in education, with polls showing strong and growing support for increased spending. Seventy-two percent of Americans support spending more on education today, up from 65 percent in 1985. So why have we not been making the investments in education that the public desires and the economy demands?

Read the full report (CAP Action)

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a special series: Middle Class Series

For more from this series, click here