Chronicle Of Higher Education

The Lack Of College Education Among State Legislators Is Disturbing!

A New York Times study, based on research by the Chronicle of Higher Education, reveals that about one out of four state legislators across America lacks a college education, and even any attendance at a four year college or university.

Only six percent of Congress lacks a college degree, while 72 percent of the nation does not have that credential.

Defenders of those without a college degree argue that what is more important than a degree is common sense, experience in dealing with people, and understanding of the issues and the political process.

That may be true, but it would seem that since state legislatures have to deal with educational matters, that a college education should be expected.

California, Virginia, Nebraska, New York and Texas are the top five states in educational attainment of state legislators, while Arkansas, Montana, Kansas, South Dakota, and Arizona have the lowest level of attainment of state legislators.

80 percent of legislators with college degrees have gone to public institutions, and Ivy League attendance is much less likely than in Congress itself.

Of course, Congress in Washington, DC, is a full time position, while in most state legislatures, it is a part time job, and the pay is much lower, so that also keeps educational attainment levels down since there are not major monetary rewards in being a state legislator.