Barksdale: Offer Still Good

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Business mogul Jim Barksdale of Jackson told lawmakers during their recently ended regular session that he'd use his own money to set up scholarships, if they'd fully fund elementary and secondary education.

Asked Tuesday if the $50 million offer is still valid, his brother, Claiborne Barksdale of Oxford, said "absolutely."

Claiborne Barksdale is CEO of the Barksdale Reading Institute. The program was founded in January 2000 with $100 million donated by Jim Barksdale and his wife.

The institute teaches literacy programs for children in low-performing Mississippi schools.

Gov. Haley Barbour's deputy chief of staff has said the state can't set public policy based on whoever will pay us the most money.