House of Representatives District 50: 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? We are all graduates of public schools.
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 will continue to support full funding for education and sponsor legislation as well.
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? I will work to find innovative ways to ensure that our tax dollars are used to impact the greatest issue that our citizens face.
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? Our public education system is the foundation of every community. It is a key variable in the equation of success for communities; therefore, I believe all funding should go to the public education system.
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, it should be fully funded each year.
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? If we use our tax dollars to support workforce development, mental health and quality education, the issues mentioned will be greatly reduced and Mississippi citizens will be impacted and so will the state.
9. Do you support raising teacher salaries at least to the level of our neighboring states and raising pay for teacher assistants? Yes!
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? I have always worked and conferred with educators and parents across the district I represent when educational legislation is considered. I will continue to do so.
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? My duty has always been to the constituents I serve. It has been my honor to represent the community I was raised in.