Renewed Education for Mississippi

  • 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.

Across our state, too few kids are ready for a career upon graduation, employers are struggling to find a skilled labor force, and a large number of teachers have lost confidence in our state government. Our students need to learn more than how to pass a test; they need to learn value-added skills and the dignity that comes along with earning a paycheck. As an employer, I know firsthand how to create an environment where employees can thrive. This is the perspective I’ll take as governor when it comes to reforming education.

As a public school graduate and parent, I believe we need to better support the education profession with competitive salaries, opportunities for growth, and reduce the testing burden so our teachers can do what they do best – teach.

In our high-performing school districts, we need to reward our administrators with more autonomy so they can continue achieving their high success rates at the direction of the local superintendent and school board, not MDE. These same districts need less micro-management from state-government so they can recruit the best educators for the job. We are losing good teachers to other states because of bureaucratic red-tape and uncompetitive compensation.

Our schools need to look much different. Someone who can take apart a complicated engine, diagnose a problem, fix it, and put it back together is no less educated than someone with a four-year professional degree – they are just educated in a different trade. Both are incredibly valuable to society and need to be given the proper dedication of resources early on to ensure success in their field of choice.

Whether our students are on their way to a career or a dorm room, they need to be prepared for the road ahead. By allowing our industry leaders to become part of the solution, rather than just benefactors of our efforts, we can begin to develop a better educational system – one that prepares students with a valuable skill-set before graduation, allows them to be competitive in the job market, and allows us to increase the number of graduates qualified to work.

Every child and school district is unique, and this must be taken into consideration when developing policies – one size does not fit all. The quality of education a child receives is far more important than which building they receive it in. Charter schools and school choice have their place in certain districts and in certain situations, but we must be very careful that our policies do not unintentionally hurt the communities that have invested so much into their already successful public schools.