Education: Here’s where Mississippi’s gubernatorial candidates stand

Voters will go to the polls Aug. 6 for the primary election.
Voters will go to the polls Aug. 6 for the primary election.(WDAM)
Updated: Jul. 29, 2019 at 4:52 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi voters will go to the polls August 6 to cast their ballots in the statewide primary, and narrow the field of candidates in dozens of races, including those running for governor.

But how do the candidates in this year’s gubernatorial race compare on the most important issues facing our state? We’ve searched their campaign literature and posted snippets of their platforms (when available), along with links to their full websites below.

Here’s where Mississippi’s gubernatorial candidates stand on the topic of education.

Robert Foster (R)

"Support our job-creators by ensuring our students are prepared for a job and economic independence by fostering new partnerships for our forgotten vocational, career, and technical training.

Improve our educators’ work environment by providing them with: the classroom resources needed to set our students up for success, competitive wages, opportunities for growth, and a reduced testing burden with less and more efficient testing.

Empower parents and communities by allowing them more autonomy in important educational decisions that should begin at the kitchen table, not one-size fits all, top-down systems."

Read more:

Tate Reeves (R)

"We’ve won results on workforce training, teacher pay raises, record school funding, and scholarships for future teachers—just to name a few things. We need to do more to make sure that when Mississippi kids graduate from high school they’re ready and able to find a Mississippi job or get a Mississippi college education.

We also need to look after our most vulnerable students. I support the program that gives children with disabilities access to the education they need to thrive."

Read more:

William Waller (R)

"In today’s world, the reality is, not every high school student is going to college. They still deserve the same opportunities to have a good-paying job and a career that allows them to support their family and live the American dream. That’s why we must better prepare high school students for the workforce before they graduate. That means bringing community colleges into high schools to help teach job skills they’ll be able to use to get a good job after graduation. Having a better trained workforce will not only help fill the available jobs today, but it will also help recruit additional industries to our state because we’ll have a better trained workforce.

Currently, Mississippi has the lowest teacher salary in America, and clearly, our teachers need a pay raise so we can get their salary up to the Southeastern average as quickly as possible."

Read more:

Jim Hood (D)

"Education is the building block to success. Investing in Mississippi’s public education system means investing in every Mississippian. As your governor I will:

  • Advocate for a statewide, universal pre-kindergarten program
  • Focus on making community colleges and universities more affordable
  • Improve our public-school system"

Read more:

Robert Ray (D)

“Education in MS is a terrible condition, we can understand this by what President Trump’s Education Secretary Betty Devos said after she visited MS Schools. Without a smile she commented, ‘you people in MS have got to start to think out side the box and be progressive in order to get your schools in order.’ That is just how below standard MS schools are. My Professional Development Process will fix the education issue because it is the kind of out side of the box process needed.”

Read more:

Robert Shuler Smith (D)

(No clear stance) Read more:

Velesha P. Williams (D)

“Ensure our schools are adequately preparing our young people for a global and technologically advanced society.”

Read more:

Albert Wilson (D)

"As an ‘Advocate of Education,’ Albert is committed to investing in addressing the needs of every child from cradle to career, starting with high-quality, affordable childcare and pre-kindergarten programs and fully-funded public schools, and on to post-secondary opportunities that will lead to a lifetime of success. As your governor Albert will:

  • Fully fund education
  • Increase teacher pay
  • Build opportunities for youth civic engagement and summer employment with the establishment of the Governor’s Youth Initiative
  • Prioritize STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) afterschool programs that increase school, college or career readiness.
  • Make trade schools, community colleges and universities more affordable
  • Investment in affordable-quality child care for all families"

Read more:

David Singletary (Ind)

Eliminate “Brain Drain”- “It’s time our children stopped leaving after college to get jobs in Dallas and Atlanta. But nobody can blame them with what we offer them right now. We rank 48th in economic prosperity and 49th in economic opportunity (as a point of interest, Colorado ranks 1st in the latter). Creating growth will require leading the southeast in promoting 21st century industries.”

Read more:

Bob Hickingbottom (Const)

“Why is it that our children spend 12 and 13 years in school and come out with a 5th or 6th grade education? The politicians told us that if we legalized alcohol, that would fund education. That didn’t happen. Next they said if we legalized gambling, that would surely fund education. That hasn’t happened. People... we cannot drink and gamble our way to prosperity. We need good jobs and a well educated workforce.”

Read more:

The following candidates did not have platform or website information available at the time of this posting:

Michael Brown (D)

William Bond Compton, Jr. (D)

Gregory Wash (D)

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