Lynn Fitch (Incumbent)
Greta Kemp Martin
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family?
I attended MS public schools K-12 as did my parents and siblings.
2. Do you agree that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) should be fully funded every year? If yes, what actions will you take to ensure full funding? If no, explain why.
3. What will you do to ensure state revenue that is sufficient to provide all of the services Mississippi’s citizens need to lead productive lives?
The AG’s office does not directly have the authority to ensure state revenue or manage the budgetary aspects of state government. However, I do intend to advocate for policies that support adequate funding for essential services and, to the extent my office would be responsible for contributing, I would certainly ensure my office is available. For example, the AG’s office can participate in multi-state settlements or legal actions against corporations that have harmed the state or its residents. These settlements can result in financial compensation for the state, which can contribute to state revenue. As a trial attorney, I want to make sure that my office pursues these legal actions so that money comes back into the state for harms against Mississippians. I also intend to collaborate with other state agencies, such as the Department of Revenue or the State Auditor’s Office, to share information and coordinate efforts to identify and address issues that impact state revenue.
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not?
YES – Mississippi’s obligation is to its public schools. While I believe in the importance of education and supporting quality schooling options, I believe that public funds should be directed towards strengthening and improving our public education system. Public schools are responsible for serving all students, regardless of their background or circumstances, and they play a critical role in fostering diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for all.
5. Do you agree that all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars, including private voucher schools, should be accountable to taxpayers for the quality of education they provide, using the same accountability measures as public schools?
6. Public schools serve the vast majority of Mississippi students with disabilities. Do you agree that special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year? (Special education has been underfunded by the state every year since 2008.) If yes, how will you accomplish full funding? If no, explain why.
YES – As a disability rights lawyer who has frequently participated in special education cases, I strongly support fully funding special education services in public schools each year. It is crucial to ensure that all students, regardless of their individual needs, receive the support and resources necessary to thrive academically and personally. While the position I seek is not directly involved in state budgeting, I would firmly suggest and support legislation which allocating a larger, earmarked portion of funding to special education needs.
7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide?
8. The nation’s top teachers say that the greatest barriers to school success for K-12 students are family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems. What steps do you believe legislators should take to alleviate these obstacles for Mississippi children?
Invest in early intervention and education programs that identify and address learning and psychological issues at an early stage. This can involve increasing funding for early childhood education, enhancing access to high-quality preschool programs, and providing resources for early identification and intervention of developmental delays or mental health challenges. Establish partnerships between schools, community organizations, and social service agencies to provide wraparound services that support students and families. This can include on-site counseling, mentoring programs, after-school activities, and access to social workers who can connect families with necessary resources and support systems. Improve access to high-quality education for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic status. This can be achieved through initiatives such as expanding access to advanced coursework, providing quality career and technical education, investing in teacher professional development, and reducing barriers to accessing extracurricular activities.
9. In the 2022 Legislative Session, a significant teacher pay raise was passed. Do you support continued pay increases to ensure that Mississippi’s teacher salaries keep pace with inflation and salaries in our neighboring states?
That pay raise was a joke and our MS teachers deserve more. Absolutely more pay raises should occur.
10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature?
11. Legislators have little or no staff to help them understand the many bills they must consider. Before introducing or supporting a bill that could affect public education, will you commit to seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, and parents of public school students in your district? Who will be advising you on education policies?
N/A for my position.
N/A for my position.