NY lawmakers among the most educated in nation


New York’s lawmakers are the fourth most educated in the country, behind California, Virginia and Nebraska, according to a new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Nationwide, 74.7 percent of them have bachelor’s degrees or higher. In New York, 86.8 percent fall into that category, compared to 89.9 percent in California.

Fifty-six percent of legislators at the New York state Capitol hold degrees higher than a bachelor’s, while 31 percent have bachelor’s degrees only. Four percent of New York’s 212 lawmakers attended some college, and the remaining 7 percent did not take any college courses.

As for New York’s population as a whole, 44 percent did not go to college, 24 percent had some college, 18 percent have a bachelor’s degree and 14 percent have degrees higher than a bachelor’s, the Chronicle said.

This was the first time the Chronicle looked at where all state lawmakers in the country went to college. Not all of the almost 7,400 legislators pursued a college education. About 25 percent do not, the publication found. For those who did, the majority went to public colleges and universities and most stayed close to home.

The Chronicle said it took data from Project Vote Smart, a non-partisan group and supplemented it with its own research into the educational backgrounds of more than 1,000 lawmakers.


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  1. A degree in political science is hardly qualification to make policy or laws. Political science is about getting elected and reelected, not serving the people.

  2. Milan Moravec on

    Legislators May Receive Wage Concessions from University of California Faculty, Chancellors Vice Chancellors UCOP. The 10 University of California (UC) campuses, UCOP are not untouchable: Californians fund UC. Californians face foreclosure, unemployment, depressed wages, loss of retirement, medical, unemployment benefits, higher taxes: UC Board of Regents Regent Lansing, President Yudof need to demonstrated leadership by curbing wages, benefits. As a Californian, I don’t care what others earn at private, public universities. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP should apply for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC, leave for better paying position. The sky above UC will not fall.
    Californians suffers from the greatest deficit modern times. UC wages, benefits must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others paid elsewhere. Campus chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured & non-tenured faculty, UCOP are replaceable by the more talented.
    UC faculty, chancellor, vice chancellor, UCOP wage, benefits concessions:
    No furloughs
    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50 million cut.
    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.
    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load
    10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research, teaching load
    100% elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

    Rose bushes bloom after pruning.

    UC Board of Regents Sherry Lansing, President Yudof can bridge the public trust gap by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflect depressed wages in California. The sky will not fall on UC

    Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until an approved balanced budget: let the Governor/Legislature lead – make the tough-minded (not cold hearted) decisions of elected leadership. Afterwards come to public for continuing, specified taxes.

    Thank you for advocating for all Californians, University of California

  3. smartporpoise on

    Latest: “Chronicle of Education” declares that 98% of legislators give the other 1% a bad name. In New York, it’s 99%.

  4. Education is not the key to common sense and moral behavior, two key components needed to do a good job.