Viewpoint: Schools are big business - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: Schools are big business

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  • Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:19:59 GMT
    James Smith, studentJames Smith, student
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
  • Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:14:47 GMT
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
  • Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:11:03 GMT
    Scott Vandermolen, Florida residentScott Vandermolen, Florida resident
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>

We know Georgia's outstanding public colleges and universities improve our economy by graduating thousands of students each year who stay in the state to start careers. But they also have a growing impact on our economy simply by being part of communities like Albany and Valdosta.

An annual survey shows the University System had a record $14.1 billion in direct and indirect spending in the fiscal year that just ended.

In our area, Valdosta State had the largest economic impact of nearly $367 million. Albany State was next at $156 million.

We should give special recognition to Darton State College. Its enrollment growth and new four-year degrees helped push its impact on Albany's economy up a whopping 12% to $135 million.

All of south Georgia's colleges are important parts of the cities where they're located.

They deserve the continued support of those communities so their impacts will continue to grow.