William Winter served as governor of Mississippi from 1980 to 1984. Under his leadership, the state passed the Education Reform Act designed to achieve educational excellence. Education is still his principal interest.
Newscenter 11 asked Winter about his post-election hopes for our state.
"A continuation of the progress that we are making in education," said Winter. "We have come a long way, but we all know we have a long way to go. And so we cannot afford to slip back in any aspect of education from pre-K through graduate level in college."
"We cannot afford to reduce the investment that we are making in education. And if that requires raising more revenue, I think we ought to bite the bullet and do that. If we don't do that, we're going to suffer. We're still playing catch-up. Mississippi is still playing catch-up with most of the states, not only in the country but in the southeast. And we're not going to catch-up until we get a citizenry that is competitive in terms of its education and its skill level and its workforce capability," Winter said.
Winter ties economic development and education very tightly together.
"There's no question about the relationship of economic development and education. And that's one of the reasons that we've not progressed more economically, because we have had too many unproductive people in this state," said Winter. "We have to go head to head now with the best minds in the country. Not just in the country but in the world, if we're going to be the kind of state, if we're going to have the kind of state that we want our children and grandchildren to live in."