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Rebuilding education

Rebuilding Mississippi’s public schools damaged and destroyed by Hurricane Katrina looms large over the massive relief and recovery effort now underway.

Impressive progress has been made in returning students to classrooms, but tremendous work remains. One of the critical aspects in speeding education’s full return is funding.
Of course, funding difficulties have plagued the state’s schools for decades, and it is a problem familiar to most Mississippians. It is also a situation that the business community has a vested interest in improving. To that end, one of the world’s leading technology companies made a significant contribution last week.

During the Mississippi Economic Council’s Hobnob Mississippi event October 25, Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers unveiled the company’s plans to donate $20 million to seven school districts in the state ravaged by the August 29th storm. The money will be used for computers, wireless communication capabilities and training for teachers.

In a very real way, Cisco’s 21st Century Schools Education Initiative will help children develop critical skill sets for the new global marketplace. It also should serve as a challenge to every other business in the state to play a part in building a better Mississippi.

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