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Schools provide 1 in 10 SJ jobs
Achievement scores up but still trail rest of state
Education achievement has improved in San Joaquin County but still lags behind the rest of California. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Education is big business in San Joaquin County.

Over one out of every 10 jobs in the county during 2008 was in either private or public education. That translates into 23.632 out of the 220,983 private and public sector jobs within the county.

Those jobs also accounted for 11.5 percent of the overall county payroll of $8.6 billion.

The impact of education on the economy in terms of jobs as well as producing a workforce that will attract higher paying employers is detailed in a regional study conducted by the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of Pacific in conjunction with the San Joaquin County Council of Governments.

Even with school layoffs – a fairly rare occurrence over the past few decades – education continues to account for close to 11 percent of all employment opportunities in San Joaquin County. Education has actually been hit a lot less than many private sector job classifications.

Schools are also the biggest employer in Manteca by far with more than 2,000 jobs.

Other tidbits the report points out about education and its impact on the San Joaquin County economy are as follows:

•Children enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12th grade account for one-fourth of the population of San Joaquin County compared to slightly more than one sixth of the population of California.

•Sixth grade English scores on state tests have increased by almost 20 percent in California while math scores are up more than 12 percent since 2003 although they still trail the state as well as Fresno, Stanislaus, and Sacramento counties.

•San Joaquin County’s graduation rate in 2007-08 was 73.9 percent compared to 75 percent for Stanislaus County and 80 percent for California.

•The dropout rate is 20 percent compared to 19 percent for the state.

•The percentage of residents in San Joaquin County attaining associate degrees is up about 3 percent while it has dropped by that amount statewide when 1990 numbers are compared to 2007.

•San Joaquin County also has a strong growth in bachelor degrees compared to the rest of California when 1990 is compared to 2007. Statewide, the percentage growth in those completing graduate studies was three times higher than in San Joaquin County.

•The percentage of the population with bachelor’s degrees was 9 percent in 1990 compared to 12 percent in 2007.

The study concludes that “in the past few decades, the region has made substantial gains in education achievement but still lags too far behind other areas of the state.”  The report also notes that schools as a whole in San Joaquin County aren’t doing as good at making gains as other Central Valley counties.