With 90 percent of lawmakers holding at least a bachelor’s degree, California has the most highly educated Legislature in the country, according to a study being published Monday by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The study compared education levels of all 50 state legislatures and found that Arkansas has the least-educated statehouse — 25 percent of its members did not attend college at all.
Other findings on the education of California’s lawmakers:
- 84 percent went to a public college.
- 59 percent got their degrees in California.
- 20 percent have a law degree.
- 13 percent went to a community college.
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The relatively high level of education among California legislators is likely explained by the fact that the state has large districts, a full-time Legislature and high salaries for lawmakers, said Scott Smallwood, managing editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education."It’s a more professional job and they’re more likely to be highly educated," he said.
The educational makeup of California’s Legislature makes it more like Congress than many other statehouses, Smallwood said. His report says 94 percent of congressional members have at least a bachelor’s degree.