CONTACT: Office of the Governor
Pete Smith (601) 359-3150 or (601) 720-8733
Kathryn Stewart (601) 359-3150

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS SHOW SUPPORT FOR GOVERNOR BARBOUR’S “UPGRADE” EDUCATION REFORM AGENDA

(Jackson, Miss.) – House and Senate leaders today expressed their support for Governor Haley Barbour’s “UpGrade” package - a comprehensive set of education reform proposals for the 2005 Legislature to consider this Session.

“Governor Barbour’s ‘UpGrade’ proposal is a comprehensive look at Mississippi’s public school system that puts the emphasis on teachers and the classroom,” said Lt. Governor Amy Tuck. “Even in times of budget woes, it is important that education remain a top priority for state government. We are looking forward to working to improve Mississippi schools this Session.”

The package is highlighted by proposals to liberate Level 4 and 5 schools in Mississippi from state bureaucracy, give teachers and entire schools raises based on increases in student learning and performance, redesign high schools to better prepare students for college and work, privatize non-education functions, require more parental involvement in school discipline problems, and give incentives to child care centers that offer more learning opportunities for pre-school children.

“The Governor held several education forums this fall and has heard from teachers, administrators, legislators, business leaders and parents about the fundamental needs of our education system. These recommendations have led to a comprehensive and sustainable plan,” said Representative Herb Frierson. “There are many ways that we can reform our educational system that do not require additional spending. We need to focus on the most critical and urgent needs in our schools and make them our top priority.”

“‘UpGrade’ is about empowering local leaders and communities to be free of state bureaucracy so they can innovate and upgrade student achievement in their schools,” said Governor Barbour. “It is time for Mississippi to start focusing on education fundamentals and not just education funding. I do appreciate the support of these House and Senate leaders standing with me today. There is no problem we can’t solve by working together.”

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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