Would it surprise you that former California community college students have some of the nation's highest loan default rates?
According to The Fresno Bee, nearly 1 in 5 community college students in the Central Valley who took out federal loans defaulted on them after leaving college in 2010. (You can check out your school's default rate here.)
Larger economic woes also are plaguing the Central Valley. Merced County had an unemployment rate of 14.5 percent in September, one of the highest in the United States, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Thursday, California Watch will launch a new series of forums designed to engage the public on civic issues. The first event of the Future State series will look at the state of education in California, particularly through the lens of the Central Valley.
So tell us, what are the biggest opportunities and challenges that you face within your local education system?
Follow the conversation on Twitter using #FutureCA and following @CaliforniaWatch.
Post your thoughts below (we'll be highlighting some of them on Twitter and Facebook) or, as always, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.