Closing the educational achievement gap that exists between black and Hispanic children and their white, non-Hispanic counterparts would improve the U.S. economy over the next three decades, according to a new report.
The Center for American Progress released a new report Monday that found the U.S. economy would be 5.8 percent bigger in 2050 if the educational achievement gaps were closed. That means the U.S. economy would be nearly $2.3 trillion larger in 2050 than it is now.
The report also found that the cumulative increase in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) from 2014 to 2050 would amount to $20.4 trillion, increasing by an average of $551 billion a year.
In addition, the economic boost of closing the educational achievement gaps would also be felt at the federal, state and local level. According to the report, federal tax revenues would increase by $4.1 trillion from 2014 to 2050, and state and local government revenues would increase by another $3.3 trillion.
Black and Hispanic children make up an ever-larger share of our population and our workforce, and one of the greatest problems they face is lagging achievement gaps, said Robert G. Lynch, Center for American Progress senior fellow and co-author of the report.
Lynch added that government investments to help ensure the education achievements of black and Latino children match those of white, none-Hispanic children would more than pay for themselves in the form of increased GDP and tax revenues.
While there have been some improvements, gaps remain among black and Hispanic students and their white, non-Hispanic peers when it comes to areas like math and reading levels, high school graduation rates and college enrollment numbers.
The report by the Center for American Progress also noted that closing the educational achievement gaps would do more than just boost the U.S. economy and increase tax revenues. It would also mean the current generation of children would grow up to have higher earnings, higher material standards of living and a better quality of life.
Ensuring educational equity is not just an investment in students and in schools its an investment in our economy, said Patrick Oakford, Center for American Progress policy analyst and co-author of the report. But more importantly, the United States risks wasting its greatest asset human capital if it does not act to significantly lift the educational outcomes of all of our children.