JACKSON — The two candidates for Mississippi governor agree on a couple of points about education. Both say publicly and frequently that money is not the solution to all problems, and both talk about expanding vocational courses to help high school students who aren’t university-bound.
In many other ways, Democrat Johnny DuPree and Republican Phil Bryant offer different ideas about how to increase academic performance in elementary and secondary schools.
DuPree, the third-term mayor of Hattiesburg, says he wants to try to decrease the dropout rate by putting graduation coaches in middle schools and high schools — people who could help keep students on track to earn diplomas. DuPree also proposes strengthening gifted programs. And, with Mississippi near the bottom in the nation for teacher pay, he says the state should give income tax breaks to public school teachers.