Brain drain is Mississippi’s biggest hurdle

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Soon our state’s legislators will begin discussions about next year’s budget, and one of the first cuts to be made will negatively affect our economy.

Recommendations have been made concerning cutting funding to universities, according to the Clarion Ledger.

And our state’s higher education commissioner sees a problem with that request; young people are becoming educated and moving away.

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If we don’t invest in our future by enticing these young people to stay close to home, our economy will only continue to suffer.

Glenn Boyce, the state’s higher education commission, said that according to research conducted by the state college board, 40 percent of people who graduate from a Mississippi university leave the Magnolia state within 5 years of earning that degree.

Repeatedly we hear state lawmakers and local leaders tout the importance of promoting our job market by wooing companies to set up shop here. But each year we also hear about the state’s legislature cutting the budget, and most of the time those cuts occur to education.

Unless something is done soon, this endless cycle will only repeat. To break the cycle we must demonstrate that Mississippi values education on all levels, starting at the preschool level and continuing to our community colleges and universities. If our legislators can’t show that education is important by finding ways to find it, there will be little to entice new employers to locate here.

A lack of jobs in the state causes our young people to have to look elsewhere for employment, and that too often means moving away from Mississippi.

Parents put a lot of work into raising their children to become productive members of society. At the same time they want their children to find high paying jobs close to home so family visits don’t just take place during major holidays.