Needs improvement

Texas ranks among the least educated states, according to a new study

According to a report, Texas residents are among the least educated. It's up to the current Texas legislative session to implement a funding policy to improve state education. Pexels

When it comes to a population's education, Texans fall in the back of the pack compared to the rest of the country. A recent WalletHub report found that the state was the 12th least educated in America.

The study factored in a total of 20 metrics surrounding educational attainment, quality of schools, and achievement gaps between minorities and genders.

Texas ranked No. 39 overall, however the state managed to rank No. 19 regarding the quality of education. In fact, the state was right in the middle of the pack at No. 26 in the ranking of average university quality. The Lone Star State's downfall might have been coming in at No. 43 in the educational attainment rank.

The top five most educated states according to WalletHub were Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, and Colorado, respectively. Earning the titles of least educated states were Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama, in that order.

When WalletHub compared the states' annual median household income rankings to the overall education ranking, the results seemed to be pretty proportional for the states. However, Texas was a bit of an outlier with a better ranking of No. 21 on the income report compared to its No. 39 spot in education.

Last fall, WalletHub found that the state's teaching environment wasn't anything to write home about either. That study factored in teacher salaries, classroom size, and per-student funding from the state, among other aspects.

The 86th Texas Legislature started earlier this month, and at the top of the agenda for the governor is school finance, according to the Texas Tribune, but legislators will be demanding results for whatever funding plan is put in place. As of Friday, however, the Tribune reports that there haven't been very many bills addressing education — and none had outcomes-based incentives.

Last legislative session, a bill established the Texas Commission on Public School finance, according to the Texas Education Agency. The commission recommended a total of $800 million be spent on incentives for improving reading levels and keeping students on track for graduation.

Only time will tell whether legislators take into account the commission's results in the current legislative session, which is expected to conclude on May 27.

Workers in the Lone Star State put in more hours and take less vacation time than most of America. Photo by gguy44/Getty Images

Texans don't just work hard, they work harder than almost anyone else in the nation, according to a new study.

Just in time for Labor Day, WalletHub has revealed the hardest-working states for 2019, and Texas lands at No. 4, meaning only three states — North Dakota, Alaska, and South Dakota — work harder. To determine the ranking, the personal finance site reviewed a host of factors, from average workweek, commute time, and leisure time to employment rates and the share of workers with multiple jobs.

In Texas, where 96 percent of the labor force has a job, workers stay on the clock an average of 40 hours a week. While that might seem pretty standard, somehow, that makes us the state with the fourth-longest workweek.

And those hardworking Texans could use a break. Surprisingly, 29 percent of the state's workers don't use all of their vacation time. One contributing factor could be the state's high percentage of engaged workers (35 percent), described in the study as "involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace."

As we know, work doesn't just start and end at your desk. WalletHub also measured workers' commute times, volunteer hours, and leisure time, which it categorized as indirect work factors.

In Texas, workers regularly travel about 26 minutes one way for their jobs, and despite their long workweeks, they make time to volunteer for 27 hours each year on average. In regards to work-life balance, Texans set aside almost six hours a day for leisure time. That may sound ample, but workers in 19 other states spend even more time relaxing.

This isn't the only recent study to call attention to how much time Texans spend on the clock.

A recent report from mobile technology company Kisi named Houston, where workers clock 43.7 hours a week, the second most overworked city in the U.S., second only to Washington, D.C. Austin also shot to the top of the list, with workers laboring 43.5 hours a week, followed by San Antonio (43.1 hours) and Dallas (42.9 hours).

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.