Bright Flight scholarship program under fire

A group of policy experts and college students will make their case to legislators Wednesday that the 30-year-old Bright Flight scholarship program, designed to keep Missouri’s brightest college students in the state, is an inefficient use of state resources.

The Active Advocacy Coalition, a statewide group of students working to improve access to education, argues that the scholarship program would provide more value to the state by directing Bright Flight dollars to low-income students rather than to the select, well-off students who typically receive the award. A report by the coalition shows that Bright Flight recipients are concentrated in mostly affluent metropolitan high schools around the state.

In 2014, Missouri spent about $17 million on the Bright Flight program. The coalition proposes that Bright Flight dollars should be re-allocated to Access Missouri, a scholarship program for low-income students, or that Bright Flight scholarships should only be awarded to students who have financial need.

All of those options would make more of a difference to more students than the current system, the coalition says.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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