To put it in simple terms, Mississippi is spending more money than it is bringing in. That is why Governor Haley Barbour has proposed a long list of cuts and consolidations, including a 12 percent reduction for most state agencies.
The Governor also wants to merge Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State with Jackson State, and merge Mississippi University for Women with Mississippi State University. All campuses would remain open but administrative jobs would be consolidated.
This idea of consolidating universities in Mississippi is not new. It has been proposed before, but no one wanted to give up their particular college or school. It does seem to us this idea should be given more consideration. Can we really continue to afford to fund eight universities at a level where students will receive a good education?
The governor also proposes consolidating some of the 152 public school districts we have across our 82 counties. No doubt there are many areas, possibly even in South Mississippi, where school districts could be consolidated to save money plus provide a good education for our children.
The governor has given us much to discuss and think about. With dwindling revenue what services do we need to keep in our state? What services would you be willing to cut? While your elected officials will ultimately make those decisions, you need to be informed so you can advise them on how you think our state government should spend your tax dollars.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager