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A Fight for the Future: Education, Job Training, and the Fiscal Showdown

During the twentieth century, the United States raised living standards by creating the best-educated workforce in the world. The nation’s success rested on local, state and federal investment in high quality, universal primary and secondary schooling, coupled with affordable higher education. But public invest- ment is now on the decline. Over the last decade, funding for education fell as a share of total public spending. Meanwhile, rising tuition pushes college out of reach for millions of young people. Education is fundamentally connected to jobs, which is currently the top priority for most Americans. Yet, the federal government has also cut major training programs for disadvantaged youth at the same time that the Great Recession wiped out an estimated 2.7 million jobs held by young adults. Together these factors have created a perfect storm of reduced opportunity for America’s young people. Click here to read more.