Alabama researchers share plan to close education gap in Black Belt: State lottery

UA director says, 'The state just doesn’t have enough money. The way to do that would be to either increase taxes or bring a lottery or gambling money.'

Alabama’s Black Belt region suffers from a gap in educational attainment with the rest of the state, and experts at the University of Alabama think a lottery might help fix the problem.

“We favor a scholarship program funded by a lottery,” said Dr. Stephen Katsinas, head of the Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama, which hosted a briefing on the subject of educational attainment in the Black Belt – one of the poorest regions in the nation.

“The best longterm economic development strategy for Alabama is to have the best educated workforce it can possibly have. The challenge is, we don’t invest enough. So we get what we pay for,” Katsinas said. “Persistent poverty counties deserve more investment for their students to be able to go onto college.”

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