House of Representatives District 16: Candidate Q&A

Candidates for this office were offered a questionnaire on education issues by The Parents’ Campaign. See below for responses received to date.

General Election Candidates:  Steve Holland  /  Ricky Thompson  WINNER

 Steve Holland (Incumbent)

» See Voting Record

1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? For 36 years, I’ve been a public school supporter. I have 4 degrees from public schools and universities in Mississippi. My 4 children are products of Misissippi’s public schools. I’m there!!!

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. Yes-elect more Democrats and progressive Republicans-if that is possible!!

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? Always voted for tax increase and never voted for tax decrease.

4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? I will always oppose. They redirect public funding, which is always inadequate, to private sources. Never good!!!

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? Yes

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, fund SPED adequately statewide. Stop the voucher. Will have to continue the effort by the super majority to purge state revenues and work harder to make public education a priority.

7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide? Yes

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? Spend more money working closely with other state departments that have priority over these social and pschological problems. More coordination but it will take more money in the system.

9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? Yes. Authored and offered the $4000 raise in the 2019 Session that the House passed.

10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature? 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? Always have-always will

12. Legislators receive tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that may contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How will you respond to this pressure? They can kiss my ass!!! Most independent soul to serve in modern times. Toodles!!

 Ricky Thompson     WINNER


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