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Haley Barbour on Education

Republican MS Governor


Expand charter schools; expand dual enrollment

Eighty-nine percent of our state's kids go to public schools. To have the kind of workforce to succeed in the 21st century, we start in K-12. Our schools are getting better. Our last NAEP scores were up more than the national average, and the dropout rate is going down. But that improvement is not enough. We need to make dual enrollment easier and more common. The students can learn more, and their parents will save money as college credits are earned while in high school. In constrained budget times we must put more resources into the classroom and reduce what is spent on administration. We must continue to focus on improving the quality of teachers coming out of our colleges of education, while simultaneously using technology more in teaching our kids. Finally, because competition is good in every sphere, I urge you to reform Charter School law so more children can benefit.
Source: 2011 Mississippi State of the State Address Jan 11, 2011

Continued large increases in funding higher education

Higher education also received record increases in state funding these last four years. Universities saw state funding go up by nearly one-third, and it was greatly needed after a seven percent cut in funding during the Musgrove administration.

Community colleges got cut even more when Musgrove was governor, and Iím proud that in my first administration state appropriations for community colleges went up 52%, including a more than doubling of state spending on workforce development and job training... a key to our job creation success.

Iím on record as favoring continued, large increases in funding higher education... increases similar to my first term; but Iíll tell you right now, we canít afford that this year. The money wonít be there.

Source: 2008 State of the State address to state legislature Jan 21, 2008

Spending $8,500 per student is enough--no increase this year

This year our K-12 schools are receiving more than $4.2 billion from state, federal and local sources... more than $8,500 for every child attending our public schools compared to $6,800 per child just four years ago.

Education is our top priority, but we must recognize we wonít be able to increase K-12 spending nearly that much this session, unless youíre willing to gut other critical programs, which Iím not.

Source: 2008 State of the State address to state legislature Jan 21, 2008

Extra pay for experienced teachers and for mentoring

To keep our best teachers, we should increase the salaries of teachers with more than 25 years experience. My budget will.

For our beginning teachers, we need to give them more support as they learn to manage a classroom full of kids. We lose a third of our new teachers within three years. Every new teacher in our schools should have an experienced teacher serving as a mentor, and we should pay that mentor an extra $1000 for this valuable service. It is more than worth it.

Source: 2008 State of the State address to state legislature Jan 21, 2008

More local control over schools

Our record funding of education is important, but the true test of our commitment to education is not how much we spend; it is the results we demand & achieve for our students. The taxpayers rightly expect us to get their moneyís worth for what we spend.

Reforms passed last year will help, such as giving local leaders more control over their schools. This year, I ask to expand funding an early childhood education initiative that builds on the network of private child care and Head Start centers.

Source: 2008 State of the State address to state legislature Jan 15, 2007

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Page last updated: Sep 04, 2011