Robert Foster on Education



Make pay raise for teachers a priority in Jackson

State Rep. Robert Foster and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. faced off in the event hosted by the Mississippi State University's College Republicans.

Foster and Waller said the Legislature's recent $1,500 pay raise for teachers was insufficient. Teachers should get a raise every year until their salaries match the southeast average, they concurred. "It has not been a priority of our leadership down (in Jackson) at all," Foster said of teacher pay.

Source: Clarion-Ledger on 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial race , Apr 2, 2019

Too much emphasis on trying to send every kid to college

When asked about his vision for expanding Mississippi's economy, Waller said the workforce must be better prepared in the future. "I support bringing more community colleges into high schools to help teach job skills so students who don't go to college can still have real opportunities to get a good-paying job to support their family and live the American dream," said Waller.

In discussing education, both Waller and Foster said they would commit to a yearly teacher pay raise to reach the southeastern average. At the same time, Foster said while Colleges and Universities do need to be funded appropriately, there needs to be a greater focus on vo-tech training. "I think the biggest issue is that we have put way too much emphasis on trying to send every kid to college," said Foster. "The vast majority of jobs and good paying jobs always have been and always will be career skilled tech positions. We need to be focused on putting the money into vo-tech and career tech training."

Source: NewsMS.FM on 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial debate , Mar 26, 2019

No free community college; focus on vo-tech

Q: Tennessee passed a law making two years of community college free for adults who graduated from its high schools, for the purpose of growing a more educated, ready workforce. What do you think of that idea?

A: I don't agree with that. What we need to be doing is putting vo-tech and career tech in high schools where we're already spending a tremendous amount of money. Kids need to have options while they're in high school--while they're fully mature enough to learn skills. They may not know what they want to do for a living, yet, but that's when they need to be exploring options. I mean going to computer classes and learning to program, going to mechanic classes and welding, plumbing, electrical--whatever it is. They need to be learning different trades and skills so that when they figure out what they want to do, hopefully by the time they graduate, they will have had enough course credits that they can go get a job when they graduate.

Source: Jackson Free Press on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race , Feb 6, 2019

School choice has its place, but we must be very careful

[We should] empower parents and communities by allowing them more autonomy in important educational decisions that should begin at the kitchen table, not one-size fits all, top-down systems.

As a public school graduate and parent, I believe we need to better support the education profession with competitive salaries, opportunities for growth, and reduce the testing burden so our teachers can do what they do best--teach.

Every child and school district is unique, and this must be taken into consideration when developing policies--one size does not fit all. The quality of education a child receives is far more important than which building they receive it in. Charter schools and school choice have their place in certain districts and in certain situations, but we must be very careful that our policies do not unintentionally hurt the communities that have invested so much into their already successful public schools.

Source: 2019 Mississippi governor campaign website Foster4MS.com , Dec 31, 2018

Allow autonomy for school districts to experiment

There's a balance in education that can be found to help our strong public schools, but not hurt them with blanket policies coming from Jackson and allow autonomy in other districts to have things like charter schools and things that they may want to try and experiment with.
Source: DeSoto Times Tribune on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race , Dec 12, 2018

Why build duplicate private schools and public schools?

Foster's views do not always align with the hard right. In 2016, Foster expressed uncertainty over "school choice," a set of policies conservatives support allowing parents to accept state-funded vouchers to pay for them to go to private schools instead of public schools.

"On one hand, it is a free market principle for parents to have the choice," Foster wrote in a comment. "On the other, it is a duplication of infrastructure costs to build more buildings and the government always follows the money so it is not a question of if but when they will follow with rules and regs into private schools. I'm torn over this issue and still listening to this very active debate to try and find some balance."

Source: Jackson Free Press on 2019 Mississippi governor race , Dec 10, 2018

Other governors on Education: Robert Foster on other issues:
MS Gubernatorial:
Bill Waller
David Baria-x
Howard Sherman
Jim Hood
Phil Bryant
Tate Reeves
Trent Lott
MS Senatorial:
Chris McDaniel
Cindy Hyde-Smith
David Baria
Jensen Bohren
Mike Espy
Roger Wicker

Gubernatorial Debates 2019:
Bevin(R) vs.Goforth(R,lost primary) vs.Adkins(D,lost primary) vs.Beshear(D) vs.Edelen(D,lost primary)
Edwards(D) vs.Rispone(R) vs.Abraham(R) vs.Kennedy(R,declined)
Bryant(R,retiring) vs.Foster(R) vs.Hood(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
Murphy(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R)
Northam(D,term-limited) vs.Herring(D) vs.Chase(R) vs.Fairfax(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2020:
DE: vs.Carney(incumbent) vs.Williams(D)
IN: vs.Holcomb(incumbent) vs.Melton(D) vs.Myers(D)
MO: Parson(incumbent) vs.Galloway(D) vs.Neely(R)
MT: Bullock(retiring) vs.Fox(R) vs.Perry(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.Stapleton(R) vs.Olszewski(R) vs.Neill(D) vs.Schreiner(D) vs.Cooney(D) vs.Williams(D)
NC: Cooper(incumbent) vs.Forest(R) vs.Grange(R)
ND: Burgum(incumbent) vs.Coachman(R) vs.Lenz(D)
NH: Sununu(incumbent) vs.Volinsky(D) vs. fsFeltes(D)
PR: Rossello(D) vs.Garced(D) vs.Pierluisi(D)
UT: Herbert(retiring) vs.Huntsman(R) vs.Cox(R) vs.Burningham(R) vs.Newton(D) vs.Hughes(R)
VT: Scott(incumbent) vs.Holcombe(D) vs.Zuckerman(D)
WA: Inslee(incumbent) vs.Bryant(R) vs.Fortunato(R)
WV: Justice(incumbent) vs.Folk(R) vs.Thrasher(R) vs.Vanover(D) vs.Smith(D) vs.Ron Stollings(D)
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Page last updated: Apr 19, 2020