It’s always good to see fellow Mississippians in the news. Jim Barksdale isn’t the only one that could be making these kinds of donations to move Mississippi foward though…
Driving through rural Mississippi – don’t ask – the crackling airwaves brought news from a name more associated with Sand Hill Road. Former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale [Jackson, Mississippi native] provoked Mississippi legislators by offering $50M in college scholarships, with strings attached. Barksdale requires that the state meet federal guidelines for its state education funding. The state of Mississippi raises very little revenue from taxes and as a result has trouble funding school budget increases. Some legislators complained that Barksdale was meddling in their business.
It is refreshing to see philanthropists like Barksdale and Bill Gates pay attention to high school education. Too often, donations are made so that Harvard Business School can build a gym fit for kings or to endow an pricey chair at the University of Chicago Business School.