Candidate for governor unveils education plan - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Candidate for governor unveils education plan

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Throughout his campaign for governor one of his top platforms has been education and Thursday, the state's democratic nominee, Johnny DuPree, laid out what he calls his signature Mississippi Educational Restructure Program.

"Education is really where it is, that's really where it is," said DuPree.

The mayor from Hattiesburg unveiled his plan in Jackson at Operation Upward, a child care center serving more than 300 children primarily from low income families. It's places like this where DuPree says reform is key and center director Robrelle Murray couldn't agree more.

"If the foundation is laid appropriately and you have certified teachers you have everything that you need in order to prepare the children for the classroom setting," said Murray.

Under the four phase plan, DuPree hopes to begin with early childhood development and teacher education as well as reducing the state tax burden on teachers to put more money in their pockets and that's just a start.

"We've got to be determined to pay our teachers a decent salary. If we're determined to do that, we can do it," said DuPree.

With Mississippi often criticized for it's educational status, leading the nation in drop out rates and behind in graduation rates, DuPree says it's time for the state to pull itself up in the rankings.

"Hopefully we're going to have those numbers change for us and change for the better," said DuPree.

To help with that change, DuPree says graduation coaches need to be placed in middle and high schools across the state as well as updating the state's gifted programs, but all of it starts, he says, with Mississippi's youngest.

"We've had a lot of people to work on education, reformation and all those kinds of things, but the bottom line is we're still in the same position that we've been in for such a long time so we've got to start from scratch," said DuPree.

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