Her comments harkened back to the research that has been done on the diploma divide between Republicans and Democrats since the election of President
Education students training Her comments harkened back to the research that has been done on the diploma divide between Republicans and Democrats since the election of President Donald Trump. In the 2016 election, 66 percent of non-college-educated white voters voted for Trump, compared with just 48 percent of white voters who did have a college degree. That trend grew during the midterms. At the same time, and perhaps relatedly, there is an urban-rural split, with voters in major cities almost unfailingly voting for Democrats and voters in more rural areas leaning toward Republicans. But those who live in rural areas tend to be stereotyped as white people who voted for Trump, which neglects the diversity of people and thought there. As a Chronicle of Higher Education analysis revealed, 29.5 percent of all Native Americans live in education deserts, dotting rural areas across the country.Read: America is divided by educationOnline education is sometimes touted as a solution for education deserts, but a rural student seeking an online degree is more likely to run into infrastructure problems. As a report from the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, showed, “only about 63 percent of people in rural areas have broadband internet access in their homes, compared with 75 percent of people in urban locales.”Another potential answer is to encourage states to invest in higher education—placing more good, affordable options in places that need them. But if the trend of state disinvestment in public higher education holds, that may prove fruitless. Alaska’s governor, for example, cut $130 million from the state university system’s budget on Friday; coupled with previous cuts, the state system has lost 41 percent of its state-supported budget this year.The truth of education in America, as Westover noted, is that “some people are going to get a lot of it, and others are going to get a little.” It’s hard to see those dynamics changing without rebuilding—and in some cases, building for the first time—an infrastructure to support the students who have been left out. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Adam Harris is a staff writer at The Atlantic.