Sunday, January 28, 2007

With Brain Drain Myth Gone, Improve Kentucky Higher Ed With Competition

My son graduates high school this year and will very likely receive the maximum $2500 annual KEES stipend for four years of college. The strings attached to the money are supposed to keep him at an in-state school.

It won't work. But new data suggests we need not try so hard to force our students to stay here for school.

Now that it appears we are not experiencing a brain drain, perhaps we should explore improving the educational opportunities of our young citizens by doing away with this provision of the KEES program.

Currently, Kentucky high school graduates can take their KEES money out of state only to participate in programs that aren't available at in-state schools. While it is positive that we can expand our offerings in this way, our economy would probably benefit even more if we allowed students to take KEES money to out of state programs that are available here but are demonstrably superior to those available at state schools.

Armed with the confidence that Kentucky can retain its educated citizens, shouldn't we do even more to ensure they get better preparation?