To increase education attainment: restore middle-class clout

Matt Zalaznick's picture

State spending on colleges and universities declined by 28 percent since 2007, but perhaps not for the reason usually cited. Simply blaming the Great Recession might mean missing a larger story — a weakened middle class that lacks the political clout to exercise its will, according to David Madland, co-author of a May issues statement from the Center for American Progress think tank in Washington, D.C.

Declining investments in education threaten U.S. economic competitiveness because more students are being priced out of college, said Madland, an economic policy expert. It’s one reason other nations are surpassing the U.S. in educational attainment, he said.

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