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 Candidate:
Oscar Denton (Incumbent)
Oscar Denton (Incumbent)
1. What is your experience with K-12 public schools, personally and/or with your children or family?
My family, me, my wife, our children, and grandchildren, are proud products of K-12 public schools.
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 agree MAEP should be fully funded every year. I will continue to advocate for legislation that fully funds MAEP.
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?
I will work to create a fairer and more progressive tax system.
4. Will you oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools, or virtual schools? Why or why not?
I will oppose vouchers that send taxpayer dollars to private schools, religious schools, home schools and/or virtual schools. Tax dollars should support public schools 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?
Any and all K-12 schools that receive taxpayer dollars should be held to 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, special education services in public schools should be fully funded every year. The state is in the best financial position in decades. I will advocate that we use our resources to support special education services in public schools.
7. Do you agree that Mississippi should provide high quality early childhood education statewide?
Early childhood education is the foundation for good education. Providing a high-quality early childhood education system statewide should be a priority.
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?
Legislators should work to create a robust economy throughout the state including good jobs that pay a living wage. A strong economy is the foundation for alleviating poverty and its associated ills.
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?
Yes, I support continued pay increases to ensure that Mississippi’s teacher salaries keep pace with inflation and 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, 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?
I will continue to seek input from teachers, principals and superintendent, and parents of public school students in my district. I will also seek input from advocacy organizations and other concerned groups.
I am elected to serve the people of House District 55, not the leaders of my chamber, party leaders, or corporate lobbying. I will vote the will of my constituents.
Kimberly Stevens (defeated in primary)