It is great to set ambitious educational goals, as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is expected to do today for the emerging generation of Texans. It would be even better to see them realized, but that will be a big problem, given the prevailing head-in-the-sand mindset of the Texas Legislature.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the Coordinating Board will adopt a new strategic plan for at least 60 percent of Texas residents aged 25-34 to have a higher education degree or certificate by 2030. At present, only 38 percent of Texans in that age group have postsecondary credentials.
“With population growth projected to be greatest among Hispanics, a group with below-average graduation rates, the challenge going forward is daunting,” reporter Ralph K.M. Haurwitz writes.
“Daunting” may not be a strong enough word, considering the legislative majority’s record in under-funding both higher and public education. As recently as last spring, the Legislature left billions of dollars in the bank while refusing to take any steps toward drafting an adequate, fair and constitutional school funding system.
The Coordinating Board needs to set goals. They remind us how far we need to go, and maybe they will provoke some attention. But as long as the legislative majority persists in dancing to the tea party’s tune and refuses to make the necessary investments in Texas’ young people and their future, this goal may as well be pie in the sky.