Candidate Q&A: House District 41

Election 2023

Our public education questionnaire is offered to candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Search for candidates’ questionnaire responses below. Election dates: Primary – August 8, 2023, General – November 7, 2023

General Election Candidates:
Kabir Karriem (Incumbent)  •  Claude Simpson

Kabir Karriem (Incumbent) 

1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family?
Before graduating from high school, it was my desire to become an educator. I chose a different career path but remain closely involved with education. All of my children attended public schools. I was highly active with PTA and academic and sports committees.

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.
Yes, I feel that MAEP should fully fund education every year. I will make sure to produce sponsored legislation across the board.

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?
In order to ensure sufficient state revenue, I will continue to be advocate, monitor student budgets, state budget and sponsor legislation.

4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not?
Yes, I will oppose those vouchers. Monies that are allocated for public education should be used for that purpose only.

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?
Yes, I totally agree.

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, special education services should be fully funded every year. I will be a active voice through my tenure in the legislation.

7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide?
Yes, I totally agree.

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?
I personally feel that there should be consistency in legislation towards the upward mobility in order to alleviate these dynamics in our communities.

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?

10. Do you agree that retired educators (and other retired state employees) should be able to draw their retirement while serving in the Legislature?
Yes, I agree.

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?

12. In the past, legislators have received tremendous pressure from the leaders of their chamber (House or Senate), state and party leaders, and corporate lobbyists, to vote in ways that could contradict the will of their constituents and harm their communities. How would you respond to such pressure?
I vote conviction and in the best interest of my district and the people of Mississippi.

Claude Simpson


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