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Jim Barksdale – Son of Mississippi

May 11, 2005

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 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.
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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.
Read – Mississippi latest state to end legislative session without a budget (Duluth News Tribune)

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