Written by Blake Schrouf, MSF Ole Miss Chapter President

This past Friday on October 26th, a small group of members from the Mississippi First Chapter at Ole Miss went to the Mississippi Economic Policy Center Annual Policy Conference in Jackson. The topics covered were those that related to the upcoming presidential election and the challenges that our country, and our state, currently face.

The most interesting thing that I learned this year was about the state budget. It was astounding to learn that our schools operate on a budget that is below their needs. Not only is it below their needs, but the state continues to make budget cuts from the little funding that the schools are currently getting. How are our schools supposed to improve the ever withering education of our state with a budget that can’t keep them afloat?

The other thing that I learned that I though was very interesting was the idea presented by Lisa Mensah, the Executive Director of the Institute on Financial Security at the Aspen Institue.  During her keynote, speech she spoke of a proposal that would give newborn children a $500 savings account that can be added to throughout their childhood.  When they turn 18, they are then allowed to put this money towards some form of higher education. This is a revolutionary idea. Within the state of Mississippi, financial limitations are often the reason that children feel that they cannot go on to a university. However, a program like this would provide them with the means to do so. Although there are some challenges with this idea, I think that if it were to be implemented correctly, it could have a profound effect.

Overall, the conference was a great success and I hope that we will be able to attend in the upcoming years!

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