According to a rosy new study, Texas taxpayers see a 6.9 percent rate of return on their investment in community colleges.
The report, Moving Texas Forward, was produced by Idaho-based firm Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. on behalf of the Texas Association of Community Colleges. They find that, at $46,600, the average mid-career annual income for an individual with an associate's degree is 35 percent more than an individual with a high school diploma.
These higher earnings reportedly expand the tax base in Texas by about $4.25 billion annually. And because of improvements in health, employment, and economic well-being associated with higher education, the state saves $190.9 million each year, the study notes.
"As the state of Texas faces a looming budget shortfall, there is a clear concern that additional cuts to these critical institutions could reduce their ability to impact the state's economy," noted TACC President Reynaldo Garcia in a statement urging the state to "remain committed" to investing in community colleges or risk losing economic ground.
The executive summary of the report is available on the right, and the full report can be found here.