About one in four of the nearly 7,400 elected representatives across the country do not possess a four-year college degree, according to a report released Sunday evening by The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington. That compares with 6 percent of members of Congress, and 72 percent of adults nationwide, said the report, which is based primarily on the officials’ self-reported biographical information.
Arkansas has the least formally educated Statehouse, with 25 percent of its 135 legislators not having any college experience at all, compared with 8.7 percent of lawmakers nationwide. It was followed by state legislatures in Montana (20 percent), Kansas (16 percent), South Dakota (16 percent) and Arizona (16 percent).
“I don’t think it’s imperative that you have a college degree to be effective,” said Mike Fletcher, a retired state trooper elected to the Arkansas Senate last year. “I think the most important thing is to have common sense.”