State of Mississippi Archives: on Education

Phil Bryant: Remove barriers to charter schools

Imagine the freedom of a parent in a failing school to send an at-risk child to a superior school nearby but outside the district. Why should only the affluent enjoy the benefits of these fine schools? Your zip code or income level should not determine your opportunity to get a good education. Let us make this bold decision. We should also remove the barriers to charter schools and extend their range across district lines so children can pass through these imaginary walls to a better, brighter future.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Mississippi legislature Jan 26, 2016

Phil Bryant: Loosen regulations around associate degrees

We can make progress in higher education by working with the IHL and community college boards to craft an associate's degree credential for those students who complete the necessary number of scholastic hours at a four-year university. For example, if a student attended a university for two years and completed the required course work, but had to leave the university for a legitimate reason, they could receive an associate's degree related to their subject major.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Mississippi legislature Jan 26, 2016

Phil Bryant: Supports "effective" public schools but not Initiative 42

Bryant and other top Republicans are trying to defeat Initiative 42, which got on the ballot through a citizens' petition process. It would allow people to sue to seek funding for an `adequate and efficient` system of public schools. Legislators who oppose 42 placed Alternative Measure 42-A on the ballot, which says the Legislature would establish `effective` public schools `without judicial enforcement.`

Speaking to about 150 Republicans at the ag museum on Monday, Bryant said Initiative 42 would be a gift to trial lawyers. `They won't have to chase ambulances anymore. They can chase school buses,` Bryant said to applause from the crowd.

The co-manager of the 42 for Better Schools campaign responded in an email: `Right now, it really doesn't matter how many cute one-liners Phil Bryant comes up with. The supporters of Initiative 42 have had enough of empty promises when it comes to public education.`

Source: Jackson Free Press on 2015 Mississippi gubernatorial race Nov 3, 2015

Robert Gray: Supports Initiative 42 & full public school funding

Gray has slammed Bryant's policies, including the governor's resistance to supporting Initiative 42, which would require the state to fund public schools to adequate levels.

Gray views full education funding also as a form of economic development. `I think the people of Mississippi already know that it's a win-win situation in passing Initiative 42,` Gray said.

Source: Jackson Free Press on 2015 Mississippi gubernatorial race Oct 28, 2015

Vicki Slater: Constitutional provision to fully fund public schools

Q: What issue do you plan to focus on?

A: If the education system was fully funded, we could hire thousands of assistant teachers that could help students that have problems reading--or in whatever area--ahead of time of them being tested rather than to hire teaching assistants after the failure by the students. Thousands of textbooks could be bought with that money. There are schools systems in Mississippi where there aren't enough textbooks for the room. It's total failure in leadership.

Q: Democrats have been very critical of the governor and Republican leadership on the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, but shouldn't there be some flexibility for, say, times of economic downturn?

A: No; they have had that flexibility since 1997, and they've only fully funded twice. There wasn't an economic downturn in every one of those years. They're not going to do it unless there is a constitutional provision that requires them to do it. I don't think it should be left to them.

Source: Jackson Free Press on 2015 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Jul 22, 2015

Chris McDaniel: Oppose nationwide Common Core standards

Question topic: The federal government should establish nationwide standards (such as Common Core) for high-school graduation.

McDaniel: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Mississippi Senate race Jul 2, 2014

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 2013-2014 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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