Senate District 39: 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 Candidate (Unopposed):  Sally Doty

 Sally Doty (Incumbent)

» See Voting Record

1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family? Graduate of Kosciusko High School. all 3 of my children graduated from public school — Brookhaven. I served as PTA president at several schools, volunteered in classrooms, and was named parent of the year.

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 we must prioritize education funding and as a member of the joint legislative budget committee I understand the complexities of the state budget and where priorities can be shifted.

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? By better prioritization of tax revenue for education, healthcare, infrastructure and other essential 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 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 – if revenues allow.

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? Provide wrap-around services where possible and support early childhood and Pre-K initiative.

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? Yes – Ray Carlock – Brookhaven Superintendent, Tammy Fairburn – Lawrence Co. Superintendent, Mickey Myers – Lincoln Co. Superintendent, Rickey Clopton – Copiah County Superintendent. 

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? Having served 2 terms, I understand this pressure and how to handle it. I’m ready to stand up for education.


 Beth Brown (defeated in primary)


 Josh Davis (defeated in primary)


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