August 20, 2012 § 2 Comments

I posted before about Mississippi’s refusal to play catch-up with the rest of the South (and the rest of the US, too) in providing pre-k education for our children.

Turns out I’m not alone. Here’s Sid Salter’s column “No Early Childhood Ed an Obstacle” that appeared in newspapers across Mississippi, including the Meridian Star, this past Sunday.

The point of his column, as I posted before, is that other southern states are investing in early childhood education, and it is paying dividends in elevation of test scores and later school performance, with resultant greater attention from outside investment.

And this is important: Investors interested in locating industries in the South don’t care to put their money into backwaters that have low levels of education and don’t want to show any competitive edge. Those industries need a trainable, educable work force. Investors want to put their money where it will maximize their chances of profitable return. They don’t care to invest in losers.

It’s been proven that the more we invest in education of our workforce, the more we will reap in industry, jobs, and economic development.

The converse is true: the more we refuse to invest in our children, the bigger and more insuperable advantage Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee will have over us.

Oh, and by the way. Those neighboring southern states I named are already at their own disadvantage to other states that got ahead of them. So we are behind the states that are already behind.

Here’s the bottom line: We can stand pat and fall further and further behind, or we can take action and get in position to move ahead.

Even Sid Salter agrees.

These children are our future. They are our treasure. Why are we so loath to invest in them?

Come on, Mississippi. You know it’s right. Let’s do it.


  • bill may says:

    For 150 years(or longer) Mississippi has been the most “conservative” state in America… The question i ponder often is, “How’s that working out?”. …… we are last in every quality of life category that comes down the pipe…
    So, being the last to embrace early childhood education is consistent with our past and, unfortunately, a predictor of our future.
    We have met the enemy and…. well, you know the rest.
    Thanks for your leadership and vision.

    • Larry says:

      Wendell Berry said this: “The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.”

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