State of Mississippi Archives: on Education

Chris McDaniel: Give students right to organize religious groups at school

Every Tuesday at 7:45 a.m., about 50 students gather in the choir room at Oak Grove High School to celebrate their faith. The students are members of First Priority, a student-led Christian club. Groups like First Priority would get special protection under a bill which the Legislature is sending to the governor.

SB 2633, by Sen. Chris McDaniel, gives students the right to organize religious groups and engage in religious activities at school. It also forbids a school from discriminating against a student who expresses his religious viewpoint in class assignments.

McDaniel said his bill, which is titled "The Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act," is designed to protect students who want to express their religious viewpoints. "Students do not lose their rights when they walk into the schoolhouse door," he said. McDaniel said his bill also would protect students who wanted to talk about their religion at school events--even opening the door for school prayer at those events.

Source: Mississippi 2012 Senate campaign website Mar 13, 2013

Phil Bryant: Privately funded Opportunity Scholarship for failing schools

Thanks to the work of this Legislature, the Department of Education changed the complicated formula for ranking our schools to a simple one: A through F. I am asking you to pass an act that will create privately funded Opportunity Scholarships so students who are below 250 percent of the poverty level and live in D and F schools districts can have a chance to take resources and go elsewhere. Let us give parents a choice so children can have a chance.

We should also have a workable charter school act that provides choices for parents. More than 40 other states have this option. Shouldn't we allow such opportunities for our own children? I applaud the Senate and the House for their efforts on this important issue. When a good charter school bill reaches my desk, I intend to sign it.

Source: 2013 State of the State address to Mississippi Legislature Jan 22, 2013

Phil Bryant: $15M for literacy; and merit pay for teachers

I call on [the Legislature] to fund $15 million to assist with literacy improvement efforts. These funds will help us train teachers on best-practices in reading instruction and will also help provide reading interventionists to help struggling third-graders and other students. If our education system does a better job early on making sure students can read on grade level, remediation costs will decline.

I have also discussed pay for performance, or merit pay, for our teachers. I believe we should reward our most effective teachers by compensation. Let me be clear, no teacher will lose any salary.

In addition to keeping and rewarding great classroom teachers, we must raise the bar for new teachers. The bill I submitted raises the entrance standard for education programs. Under this act, a student must have a 21 ACT score and a minimum GPA of 3.0 to become a teacher. Why would we want anything less for our students?

Source: 2013 State of the State address to Mississippi Legislature Jan 22, 2013

Chris McDaniel: Increase number of charter schools statewide

Chris McDaniel voted Yea on Passage of SB 2189: Expanding Charter School Authorization (Bill Passed Senate, 31-17)
Source: VoteSmart summary of Mississippi State Senate voting records Jan 16, 2013

Haley Barbour: Expand charter schools; expand dual enrollment

Eighty-nine percent of our state's kids go to public schools. To have the kind of workforce to succeed in the 21st century, we start in K-12. Our schools are getting better. Our last NAEP scores were up more than the national average, and the dropout rate is going down. But that improvement is not enough. We need to make dual enrollment easier and more common. The students can learn more, and their parents will save money as college credits are earned while in high school. In constrained budget times we must put more resources into the classroom and reduce what is spent on administration. We must continue to focus on improving the quality of teachers coming out of our colleges of education, while simultaneously using technology more in teaching our kids. Finally, because competition is good in every sphere, I urge you to reform Charter School law so more children can benefit.
Source: 2011 Mississippi State of the State Address Jan 11, 2011

Erik Fleming: Supports charters, vouchers, and home-schooling

Source: Mississippi Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Jul 30, 2008

Ronnie Musgrove: Remove the 5% cap on teacher pay

Our children won’t learn without qualified, inspired teachers in the classroom. Mississippi’s teachers continue to outshine teachers in other states. Our national board certification numbers are a resounding testament to their commitment to teaching. Removing the 5% revenue growth condition on pay increases would be a strong testament to our commitment to Mississippi’s teachers. Nothing less than fully funding adequate education, the critical teacher shortage act, and our teacher pay plan will do.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Mississippi legislature Jan 4, 2001

Ronnie Musgrove: Universities: settle the Ayers Case

We are asking our community colleges and universities to take a greater role in economic development from recruiting industries, to research and development. If we are going to utilize our Universities to the fullest, then the Ayers Case must be settled. Twenty-five years is long enough. It is time to move on.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Mississippi legislature Jan 4, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of Mississippi Politicians: Archives.
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