One thing we try to do at U.S. 1 is stay focused on our own editorial niche. That was important when the paper was founded in 1984, (when the “Princeton Route 1 corridor” stretched from Philadelphia to Newark, in the minds of some people, and it’s even more important today, when online publishing has created hyper-local competitors.

So we try to keep home base covered. Once in a while we have strayed. In January of 2009 we ran a collection of stories titled “Barack’s Burden,” in which various Princeton-area policy experts weighed in with advice on how the new president should tackle various pressing issues.

We did that again in December of 2009, when we asked experts to comment on “Chris Christie’s Challenges.” We continued that theme this past January: “Living in Trump’s World.” So this week we take a look at the advisers Governer-elect Phil Murphy has assembled from our own backyard. And with luck Murphy will also become a neighbor: we could easily put Drumthwacket on a delivery list.

#b#To the Editor: Where Have All the Students Gone?#/b#

If past patterns hold, well over half of New Jersey high school graduates who go on to college will do so in another state. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) believes the state should try to find out why.

That’s why NJBIA is supporting legislation that would survey New Jersey high school graduates and determine why so many leave. The bill, S-2993 (Kean, Cunningham), was approved today by the Senate Higher Education Committee.

“It’s no secret that New Jersey has the highest net outmigration rate among high school graduates in the nation, but it’s a problem we cannot solve until we know what is causing it,” said NJBIA Vice President Andrew Musick. “This bill is the start to finding that answer.”

“Outmigration of high school graduates impacts businesses’ ability to find the qualified, skilled workers they need,” Musick said. “If students go to college in another state, they are less likely to come back to start their careers.”

The bill would direct the Secretary of Higher Education to conduct a survey of high school seniors, and review things like academic and socio-economic characteristics between those who chose in-state institutions and those who go out of state. The bill would also require an analysis of the extent to which the outmigration is impacted by the state’s small size and the desire of college students to experience independent living at a distance from their families.

In the fall of 2014, 34,782 New Jersey residents left New Jersey to attend college in another state, while only 5,876 students from other states began their college education in New Jersey, for a net loss of 28,906 students.

Steven W. Wilson

New Jersey Business & Industry Association

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