The forces buffeting our economy hit those with less education and fewer skills the hardest. Many good jobs today, and a greater number in the future, require more than a high school education as well as an ability to learn continually. This presents a challenge to our educational and workforce development systems to respond effectively to meet these needs.
Effective responses to boost long-term competitiveness will likely require targeted and sustained investments of public and private resources over time. Our current systems of public finance at the state and local levels are outdated and ill-suited to meeting these needs. A system that allocates adequate resources to high priority areas–despite the inevitable ups and downs of the economic cycle–is crucial.