AP analysis: Education, government finances tightly linked as evidenced by state’s bond rating

Grab the nearest kindergartner and tell her this: Stay in school and study hard because Mississippi’s long-term economic outlook depends on you. If you slack off and drop out before getting a decent level of education, your state government — that is, your fellow citizens — might have to pay higher interest rates to retire long-term public debt 20 years from now.
Sound like an exaggeration? Consider this nugget from the Nov. 5 news release in which the Fitch credit rating agency announced it was downgrading Mississippi’s bond rating outlook from stable to negative:

“The state’s socio-economic profile is relatively weak, with wealth and educational attainment indicators that significantly lag national levels.”

Poverty and low education levels not only weaken a person’s quality of life; they also hurt the financial outlook for state government.