House of Representatives District 42: 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.
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? I attended and graduated from public schools. Also, I taught in public school. My children are graduates of public school.
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, I agree. I will continue to support legislation that’s aimed at fully funding education. Ear mark funding yearly to fund education.
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? Not allow funding to be reduced or used for other areas.
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? Yes, I oppose vouchers for any schools but public schools. Tax dollars should support only public schools.
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, any schools spending taxpayers’ money should be accountable to taxpayers
6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that public school special education services should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state annually since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why. Yes. Special education should be fully funded. Full funding can be accomplished through special allocations for projects and receiving monies from state tax base.
7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high-quality early childhood education statewide? Yes, absolutely.
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? Raise the wage per hour worked to $12.00. Promote child care and provide adequate funding. Fund mental health instead of cuts in funding.
9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? Yes, I’m in full support.
10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their state retirement while serving in the Legislature? Yes, I agree.
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? Yes, I will. I will get advice from superintendents and groups such as yourselves.
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? I will always stand on my position and do the right thing for the people.