25% of State Legislators Don’t Have a College Degree

No wonder state legislatures are such a reliable beachhead of corruption and bad public policy:

For the first time, The Chronicle has looked at where every state legislator in America went to college—or went at all. Starting with data from Project Vote Smart, a nonpartisan research organization, and expanding the scope with extensive research into more than 1,000 individual legislators, we set out to see which is the least-educated legislature in America, which is the most educated, where all 7,000-plus legislators went to college, and why it may or may not matter.

In doing so, we got a glimpse of the citizens who hold these seats and how they—so much more than Congress—reflect the average American experience.

Like most American students, the vast majority of state legislators went to public colleges. And most of them stayed close to home. In Louisiana, four out of five legislators never went to college outside the state. Across the nation, many lawmakers attended community colleges. Over all, about one in four don’t have bachelor’s degrees.


  1. Anonymous says:

    So you're now equating not going to college with being corrupt and incapable of creating policy?

    You went to college and you support corrupt politicians and haven't had a good public policy position yet.

    Your point is invalid.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Anon 4:31,

    What-Am-I-Gettings-From-Big-Government?'s point is invalid?

    I am completely stunned.


    So, what else is happening in the world today?

    Think Jonny-boy thinks Molovinsky saw any "scary brown people" today, or what?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where did Jon Geeting go to college?

    No one in my family will ever be allowed to go to there…

    …cannot be much of a positive or educational experience by any stretch of the imaginiation.

    I care about the mental well-being of my family and do not need any indoctrination and transformation of my relatives into some kind of ultra-radical Progressive Liberal Democrat — like Jonny-boy here in NYC — on some far left fruitcake's payroll.

    Absolutely no way.

  4. Anonymous says:



    Nevertheless, still smart enough to spot a complete idiot when I read one.

  5. Jon said,

    "No wonder state legislatures are such a reliable beachhead of corruption and bad public policy…"


    You don't have a clue, do you Jon?

    Did you receive all your morals, judgement, and integrity along with your degree?

  6. Chris Casey says:


    Some of our greatest minds never attended college, or only went a year or two. Bill Gates and Steven Jobs ring a bell? How about Thomas Edison or Henry Ford?
    I know people with doctorates who don't have a lick of common sense.
    You amaze me John, at how much of a snob you present yourself as.
    I would rather have a state rep who appreciates the value of a dollar than one who only understands the boost to their own ego of getting comped privileges by a campaign donor.
    You really need to walk a few miles in the shoes of the people you look down upon so easily.

  7. ironpigpen says:

    Where did ABRAHAM LINCOLN go to college?

    Oh, that's right — he did not.

    Guess Lincoln wasn't much then, was he What-Am-I-Gettings-From-Big-Government?…

    Progressive Liberalism IS a mental disorder.

    I feel bad for all the Democrats like Mr. Casey who have seen their party radically transformed over the years.

    Furthermore, I contend that Mr. Casey's party boat just keeps drifting further and further Left and he is, actually, quite powerless to influence direction.

    Kind of sad, really.

    Progressive Liberalism ALWAYS fails, it is only a matter of how many people get dragged down with the ship…

    Always choose Freedom and Liberty. With Limited Government and a system of Checks and Balances.

  8. Jon Geeting says:

    Public policy is important. It's important that our legislators understand some basic information about the economy and public policy. Just because you're successful in business doesn't mean you understand the economy. I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea that any candidate who wants to get on the ballot for an office higher than municipal government should have to get a B or higher in an Econ 101 class first. We send these people off to the legislature to pay attention to politics and policy all the time because few of us have the time to learn the details of every bill that gets voted on. For accountability's sake, I want legislators well prepared to go toe-to-toe with lobbyists and other people who want to give them sloppy information. Pretending anyone could be good at being in government no matter how much education they have is ridiculous.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Public policy is not near as important as being productive and earning a living. It's also not nearly as complex at the state level (which was the topic of this post) as you make it out to be.

    And if you're talking grade requirements, let's talk education requirements. Liberal Arts majors (Poly Sci, French Literature, English, etc.) are virtually worthless in the workplace. Let's then rule out all those worthless candidates from holding public office. You have to hold a real degree in business/finance.

    And remember term limits. Because it's common knowledge that lifetime politicians are completely and totally worthless.

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