Community colleges enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduate students, yet the majority of these students leave without earning a degree or certificate or transferring to another institution to continue their studies. As a result, they risk losing the opportunity to learn and to earn a livable wage.
Today’s labor market puts a high premium on literacy skills, even in jobs that once required little education or training. Not being able to read or write can stand in the way of finding and keeping a job or earning a living wage. Literacy can also affect one’s ability to be an educated consumer, an informed voter, and a helpful parent or grandparent.
Big-city school districts play a critical role in educating America’s children. Although there are almost 17,000 public school districts in the United States, just 100 of them serve 23 percent of all students, 30 percent of economically disadvantaged students, and 40 percent of students from racial minorities.
Public housing developments are among the most economically challenged neighborhoods in the United States. In fact, many public housing residents face obstacles to employment even beyond those normally experienced by other low-income people.