Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an op-ed piece by State Senator Duey Stroebel (R – Cedarburg) concerning a brain drain from Wisconsin as recent college graduates leave the state upon graduation.
Senator Stroebel is bemoaning the fact that recent graduates have left the state at the rate of 14,000 over the four year period of 2008 to 2012. He clearly understands the economic issues related to losing our most talented and discusses it at length. I was starting to become quite impressed until we got to the GOP style kicker at the end:
With these issues in mind, I recently unveiled a bill that seeks to entice the best and brightest high school students to remain here for college and, ultimately, work here and put down roots after graduation. Many of these students will be the next entrepreneurs, job creators, benefactors and leaders who will shape the future of our state. To accomplish this, my bill would restructure the current Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarship, which is awarded to high school seniors statewide finishing at or near the top of their class.
Untouched since the early 1990s, the program has becoming increasingly less effective in accomplishing its goal of keeping the best and brightest here. Under the proposed changes, the scholarship amount would be increased to equal the tuition and fees of the in-state college or university attended, or to the tuition and fees of UW-Madison if the student attends a private university. The key, however, would be that 50% of the award would be in the form of a traditional tuition scholarship, and the other half would be distributed to the student in the form of a tax credit that may be used to offset state income tax obligations for the first five years following graduation — but only if the graduate lives in Wisconsin and earns a majority of his or her income in-state.
A tax credit?
Didn’t it ever occur to you…that while demeaning educators and taking millions of dollars out of the budget of the University of Wisconsin system…that it might just be kinda hard to convince students you mean something when your actions are saying exactly the opposite?
Want to staunch the brain drain? Bolster the reputation of the UW System by investing in it. Make tuition affordable by returning state funding to previous levels. Help to make student loans affordable so that our best and brightest can attend and graduate and afford to stay here.
And for crying out loud, invest in PUBLIC education so that our best and brightest are ready and able to go to college!!