Senate District 4: Candidate Q&A
Candidates for this office were offered a questionnaire on education issues by The Parents’ Campaign.
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? Graduated Alcorn Central High School. My child graduated from public school in Kossuth. Volunteered for multiple projects to improve school or support at an activity.
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- if revenue receipts allow. I believe teachers and children should be rewarded for success and not failure. If it is not working change the model.
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? Better prioritization of tax revenue for education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other services.
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not? Yes
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 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
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? Support early childhood and Pre-K services
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 state 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? Yes. Larry Mitchell- Alcorn County Schools, Frank Campbell- South Tippah Schools, Lee Childress- Corinth City Schools.
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? Serving two terms I understand the pressures. Believe I can handle those pressures and stand up for education.