Lawmakers asked to support higher education goal

The state Higher Education Coordinating Council on Monday recommended that Florida lawmakers endorse its goal of having 55 percent of the state's working-age population hold college degrees or professional certificates by 2025.

The recommendation was part of an annual report approved by the council.

Last month, the council united behind the goal of having 55 percent of Florida's working-age population "attain" four-year or two-year degrees or professional or technical certificates by 2025. Currently, less than 47 percent of the population meets the attainment goal.

State officials project about 64 percent of Florida's jobs in 2025 will require education beyond high school, including 30 percent requiring bachelor's or graduate degrees and another 33 percent requiring two-year degrees or postsecondary certification.

"High-quality postsecondary education is an imperative for a strong state," the new report says. "The council is committed to ensuring that Florida has the talent it needs to meet our growing population and future economic, civic and social challenges."

The higher education council is also proceeding with an application for funding from the Lumina Foundation, an Indiana-based non-profit group that promotes higher degree-attainment goals across the nation.

Lumina wants to raise the national attainment level to 60 percent by 2025. Florida would use the funding to support the effort to promote raising the state's attainment rate.