Candidate Q&A: Senate District 32
Special Election 2021
Our public education questionnaire was offered to legislative candidates in the November 2 special election. A runoff election will be held on November 23. Search for candidates’ questionnaire responses below.
W.J. Coleman • Stan Copeland • James Creer • Justin Curtis Creer • Minh Duong • Rod Hickman (WINNER) • Kimberly Houston • Keith Jackson • Bradley Joseph Sudduth
Bradley Joseph Sudduth
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? I currently have five children in school. (2) 7th graders in Northeast Middle School. I also have (3) 5th graders in Northeast Middle School. I am very active in my children’s education.
2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why. The MAEP is the funding mechanism for our state’s public schools. See https://tpcref.org/mississippi-adequate-education-program-maep/ for information. With Mississippi online sales tax adding to the treasury it’s time for Mississippi to fully fund education (MAEP).
3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives? We can’t always predict pandemics. One thing we can do is prepare a workforce that is educated for that particular company’s needs, which would give Mississippi good jobs and more revenue to fund services for our state.
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? I don’t know the answer to this right now. My children go to public school and I realize that each person can find success in different opportunities.
5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools? What is good for one school may not be the same for another. There should be standards in place for accountability.
6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why. Yes, we would need to put certain mandates in place to ensure funding but I realize this can be difficult if the money is not there.
7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide? When we invest in our children we can’t lose. There are many things in the early childhood that are critical. Programs that encourage literacy are a must.
8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children? Coping skills are issues that are most challenging for lots of Mississippi children. As a foster parent I have seen this time and time again. Finding opportunities to help fund families with psychological and family stress is a must.
9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? Yes, absolutely.
10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature? When you have an expert in education that can legislate and there’s no conflict of interest, yes.
11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies? I do not know everything and will depend on seeking wisdom from others when necessary. I come from a family of educators. I have 2 brothers that are new teachers. Also, my stepmother is a retired teacher from Louisville, MS.
Justin Curtis Creer
Advanced to November 23 runoff election