Archive for Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New report shows impact higher education has on the economy

March 16, 2011, 2:02 p.m. Updated March 16, 2011, 7:30 p.m.


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Impact of Kansas Board of Regents System ( .PDF )

— Public institutions of higher education in Kansas have a multi-billion-dollar impact on the economy and improve the quality of the state, according to a study released Wednesday.

“This is not the time to be under-investing in something that is bringing such great returns,” said Ernest Goss, director of Dever-based The Goss Institute for Economic Research. Goss, an economics professor at Creighton University, did the $36,000 report on behalf of the Kansas Board of Regents.

Regents Chairman Gary Sherrer said the study should help the public and Legislature understand the impact that higher education has on the state’s economy.

The 51-page report breaks down that economic impact by county, legislative district and institution.

The Kansas Legislature is deciding on funding higher education for the next fiscal year in the face of a $500 million revenue shortfall.

Higher education has been cut approximately $100 million over the past two years, but Gov. Sam Brownback has called for essentially a flat level of funding for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The new study said public universities and colleges in Kansas had an estimated economic impact of $7.3 billion in 2010.

And each dollar in state tax support resulted in nearly $12 in Kansas economic activity, the report said.

The economic impacts included $3.4 billion in wages and salaries, 95,327 in additional jobs and $485 million in state and local tax collections. Douglas County, home of Kansas University, received the largest economic impact at $1.5 billion.

The study also looked at the connection between wages and education levels. In 2009, workers with a bachelor’s degree earned almost $50,000 per year more than a high school dropout.

“The evidence is pretty clear you want to keep an educated workforce,” said Goss.


Jeremy DeBoard 4 years, 1 month ago

"In 2009, workers with a bachelor's degree earned almost $50,000 per year more than a high school dropout."

Except for teachers, who make below that amount on average. I'm sure there are other bachelor's degree holders who can't boast such a figure in pay.

Daniel Kennamore 4 years, 1 month ago

Well it's an average, not that every single person with a degree earns 70K a year. I'd be willing to bet the average teacher 10+ years our of a college earns more than the average of a high school degree only...not by much, but still more.

Shardwurm 4 years, 1 month ago

Teachers deserve what they earn. If they went into teaching to make money I don't want them instructing our youth...because obviously they're impaired.

Teaching is welfare for the educated...especially when there is tenure and the union making their jobs made of teflon. When you have no risk of losing your job and no accountability for your performance you can't expect to make six figures a year. Doesn't happen.

Shardwurm 4 years, 1 month ago

No....I really do know what a 'teachers' (sic) job entails. Very much so.

What I also know is that there is a gluttage of teachers available. Our universities are cranking out literally thousands of teachers every year who can't find a job because of tenure and the union.

Make teaching competitive. Get rid of tenure. Give one year contracts like Florida is doing. Eliminate the union. Once you do that then you can pay the good teachers and eliminate the bad.

The problem with your blanket statement is that you assume all teachers are good. The truth is they are like any other organization - 20 percent do 80 percent of the work. You've drank the Kool Aid that makes you believe that all teachers are good.

They aren't. Once you - and the teachers themselves - can understand that the sooner we can compensate for performance...which means better education.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 1 month ago

And attending Kansas State University, subsidized by tax money, is welfare for the uneducatable.

question4u 4 years, 1 month ago

"Teachers deserve what they earn."
Ergo, any cut in teachers' salaries would be unfair.

"If they went into teaching to make money I don't want them instructing our youth...because obviously they're impaired."
Hmm, there are a couple of interesting implications here: 1) Teachers would be crazy to go into teaching if they expected their bank accounts to have a positive balance , because everyone knows that teachers are poorly paid; 2) Only teachers who go into the profession to break even or lose money should be instructing our youth (because those teachers would be smart). Presumably they would also instruct our youth on the benefits of not making money.

"Teaching is welfare for the educated..." Yes, it always burns me up that Jonas Salk, discoverer of the polio vaccine was on "welfare for the educated" at the University of Pittsburg. If only we still had polio we would have a lot fewer kids duped into getting an education today. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

"...especially when there is tenure and the union making their jobs made of teflon." There are no professors' unions in Kansas, so maybe that accounts for the reference to jobs made of teflon, a surface from which it is easy to remove things.

"When you have no risk of losing your job and no accountability for your performance you can't expect to make six figures a year." Ergo, those who make six figures a year run a risk of losing their jobs, and they may be held accountable.

"Doesn't happen."
Correct that. Those who make six figures a year DEFINITELY run a risk of losing their jobs, and DEFINITELY are held accountable.

If we just eliminated education then Shardwurm wouldn't be the only one capable of thinking things through so clearly.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 1 month ago

Was this an economic impact study or a positive economic impact study? Higher education does not pay for itself and costs the college communities quite a bit in services. We are also deprived of real estate that could provide property tax revenue. I am not saying that we should not support higher education. I just wonder what they used for indicators.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't know, why don't you read the report and find out for yourself? And then find the evidence to back your claim that "higher education does not pay for itself."

Oh, and property tax revenue can be a drain on a community, you can't just add more real estate and call collecting property taxes an economic boon, you need to fact in the costs of services, infrastructure, and oh by the way you need tenants of said real estate. Supply does not beget demand.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 1 month ago

Indeed, Lawrence would be much more prosperous if KU closed down and that land was turned over to property development. Also, we would all have wings and poop gold coins.

madameX 4 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately (and I say this as a person who does not have a degree yet), employers seem to really like for you to have that piece of paper. And having earned that piece of paper does not necessarily mean that you are more intelligent and disciplined, trust me. I've worked with people who have multiple degrees who barely understand the concept of "work ethic" and "problem solving." I've also worked with high school dropouts who were way smarter than their educational status would suggest, they just hated school. So while the education itself might not increase earning potential, the fact that you have it seems to make you more attractive to employers an help you get your foot in the door for jobs that have higher earning potential.

Also, I think it depends on the specific degree program. I can see how, for example, someone who graduates with an engineering degree would have increased earning power that is a direct result of his or her education, whereas someone with a philosophy degree maybe not so much. The latter who earns a higher salary may be genuinely intelligent and competent, but if they're not they may be benefiting from the perception that anyone who has a degree is automatically more qualified that someone who doesn't.

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