Both major party candidates are saying education is one of their biggest priorities if elected.

" /> Both Candidates for Governor Seek Changes to Education | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Both Candidates for Governor Seek Changes to Education

By Daniel Cherry | Published 06 Oct 2011 06:28pm | comments

It's just a month before the election to choose Mississippi's next governor. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how both major candidates are hoping to make strides in educating Mississippi's children.

Voters will decide between Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, a Democrat, and Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant, the Republican candidate. Both say education is one of the biggest hurdles for the state in coming years. DuPree is taking up early childhood development as one of his goals.

"We've got to make sure that those mothers and fathers that have a responsibility of actually raising those kids...if they're not going to do that, then we have to not just ignore those children. We have to do something with those children."

Offering incentives for early education is one part of DuPree's proposed Education Restructuring Program. However Phil Bryant says other issues deserve more consideration.

"(We have to) make sure we've got that trained work force for our children. Make sure that our dropout rate goes down. In some areas we've got 37% of our children dropping out. We've got to cure that."

Bryant says more educated citizens will make Mississippi more attractive to businesses. That's why he wants to re-evaluate the current approach to teaching children.

"We've got to redesign our education system. We've got technology today that can bring information to the classroom. For example, in a cubicle style learning system where students can go online and do their learning."

Bryant says consolidating certain aspects of school districts would leave more money in the classrooms. While Johnny DuPree knows more money would help, he also wants better pay for teachers.

"When our lawmakers are determined to do something...they do it. We've got to be determined to pay our teachers a decent salary. We've done it for other things when we were determined to do it, and we can do that too."

In addition to education both candidates say addressing Mississippi's health disparities and creating jobs for residents are their main priorities if elected governor. 

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