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Haley Barbour on Education

Former Republican MS Governor (until 2012)


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

Give parents vouchers so they can choose kids' schools

Republicans are pushing ideas like school choice through vouchers to assist the American family in paying for the educational services of their choice. The idea is simple: parents know best how to spend educational dollars on their children. Parents know how to judge a school without relying on stacks of reports from Washington. Another benefit of school choice is that it forces schools and teachers to compete for students.
Source: Agenda for America, by Gov. Haley Barbour, p.131 , Apr 25, 1996

Supports charter schools as a means to local control

Charter schools encourage innovation and decentralization. Charter schools are government-funded schools that are created and operated by a group of qualified people. They enter into a contractual arrangement with the state or school system, and as long as they prove they are meeting their contractual agreement, they operate free from state and district supervision.
Source: Agenda for America, by Gov. Haley Barbour, p.135 , Apr 25, 1996

Vouchers apply unlimited market forces to education

We need to empower parents to make choices and seize opportunities for their children's education. Ideas like school choice through vouchers or tax credits assist the American family in paying for the educational services of their choice. Vouchers & tax credits will be available to people of any tax bracket and will open up unlimited possibilities of market forces applied to education.

The idea behind school vouchers or tuition tax credits is simple. Parents know best how to spend educational dollars on their children. And parents know best how to choose a school that is appropriate for the needs and abilities of their children. Parents also know how to judge the quality of a school without having to reply on stacks of reports and conferences in Washington.

Another benefit of school choice is that it forces schools and teachers to compete for students. Competition will force them to keep improving their product, much the way businesses improve their products to compete for customers.

Source: Agenda For America, by Haley Barbour, p.131-132 , Apr 25, 1996

School prayer restores moral awareness to our schools

On the issue of school prayer--or more accurately, voluntary prayer in public schools--most Americans want something done to restore religious expression and moral awareness to our schools. While the state or school must not dictate or prescribe any prayer, the right to voluntary prayer in schools should be protected, whether through a constitutional amendment or through legislation, or a combination of both.

The idea that most religious people are "radical," as they are all too often portrayed in the media, is wrong. The overwhelming majority are mainstream, not extreme. They should not be treated as second-class citizens who may practice their faith in private but never in the public square. People of faith--of all faiths--have played important roles in the progress of the country and the development of our culture. Indeed, our culture is based on traditional American values, derived from our Judeo-Christian heritage, handed down to us, generation after generation.

Source: Agenda For America, by Haley Barbour, p.159-160 , Apr 25, 1996

Other governors on Education: Haley Barbour on other issues:
MS Gubernatorial:
Phil Bryant
MS Senatorial:
Roger Wicker
Thad Cochran

Newly elected Nov. 2012:
IN: Mike Pence (R)
NC: Pat McCrory (R)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D)
MT: Steve Bullock (D)
WA: Jay Inslee (D)

Re-elected 2012:
DE: Jack Markell (D)
MO: Jay Nixon (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
UT: Gary Herbert (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Up for re-election 2013:
NJ: Chris Christie
VA: Bob McDonnell
Up for re-election 2014:
AK: Sean Parnell
AL: Robert Bentley
AR: Mike Beebe
AZ: Jan Brewer
CA: Jerry Brown
CO: John Hickenlooper
CT: Dan Malloy
FL: Rick Scott
GA: Nathan Deal
HI: Neil Abercrombie
IA: Terry Branstad
ID: Butch Otter
IL: Pat Quinn
KS: Sam Brownback
MA: Deval Patrick
MD: Martin O'Malley
ME: Paul LePage
MI: Rick Snyder
MN: Mark Dayton
NH: Maggie Hassan
NM: Susana Martinez
NV: Brian Sandoval
NY: Andrew Cuomo
OH: John Kasich
OK: Mary Fallin
OR: John Kitzhaber
PA: Tom Corbett
RI: Linc Chafee
SC: Nikki Haley
SD: Dennis Daugaard
TN: Bill Haslam
TX: Rick Perry
VT: Peter Shumlin
WI: Scott Walker
WY: Matt Mead
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Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013