Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Let’s Create Opportunity Through Education…

Representative Hills has it right in a recent article from the Argus Leader titled: "Opportunity Knocks For State Program." He states,

“We have to consider education as economic development.” Art Rolnick, Senior VP for the Federal Reserve in Minneapolis also opined at a conference on poverty in Aberdeen, "Education is an imperative form of economic development... especially in a knowledge economy." I completely agree with these statements. In a knowledge economy, the most important tool people have to succeed is right between their ears. Education plays a very important role in development of our intellectual capacity and our ability to create.

South Dakota needs to re-consider what economic development actually is. Often we get caught up in the model of “job transfer,” where chain businesses are brought in that put a variety of local shops and stores out of business. Jobs are not created this way… they are transferred. The revenue of those businesses is also transferred out of our state, whereas the revenue from the local shops stays and turns over in the community. I don’t know about any of you… but I would prefer to keep my money in my community.

Representative Hills also notes that development of South Dakota’s educational system can help spur the growth of scientists and entrepreneurs in this state. Why Not? I am optimistic about the ability of our students. Let's not settle for transfer of opportunity in South Dakota... let's create it!

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