Each year in the United States, approximately 5 to 7.5 million students in the nation’s K-12 schools miss a month or more of school. That means 150 to 225 million instructional days are lost every school year. The problem is more pronounced in low-income urban communities throughout the country. In elementary school, for example, students who live in poverty were found to be as much as five times more likely to be chronically absent than their advantaged peers.
During the 20th century, there was nothing that could help you achieve labor market success more than a good education. Even today, education is one of the strongest predictors of whether someone is employed and how much he or she is paid.
Yet, the rules have changed.
Trump’s proposed cuts to career and technical education offer an illustrative example of the economic consequences of reducing social spending.
Ask any group of high school teachers, and they will report that the most frequently asked question in their classrooms is, “When are we ever gonna use this?” In a traditional college prep program, the honest answer is usually, “Maybe when you get to the university.” But in the real world? Depending on the class, students may not find their learning as useful.