The hypothesis is that the Southerners are less educated than the population at large. Now keep in mind that because this is a one tailed test, you can interchange the null and the alternate hypothesis. Also, null is usually given the benefit of the doubt. Thus the '=' sign goes with the null. In this case because we have to prove that Southerners are less educated than the population at large we will consider that to be our alternate hypothesis. (1) Null Hypothesis: Ho: Southerners are MORE or EQUALLY educated as the population at large (2) Alternate Hypothesis: Ha: Southerners are LESS educated than the population at large.
The solution just writes the problem statement in an equation form and gets it ready for further evaluation.