Lawmakers Become Principals for a Day

As the saying goes, you can learn a lot by walking in someone else’s shoes. Today a handful of local lawmakers did just that when they traded spots with principals throughout the Ocean Springs School District. News 25’s Katarina Luketich shows us what they did and what these legislators took away from their time in local schools.
Today legislators stepped away from their work desks and sat amongst students to see firsthand what goes on in our schools, arming them with knowledge to consider while they’re up in Jackson. Representative Charles Busby said, “You never want to make decisions and do them in ignorance. You need to make decisions that are informed decisions. The more we can interact with the education community, the better decisions we’re going to make.”
As principal for the day, Busby took on duties at the middle school, while Senator Brice Wiggins worked at the high school. They not only got to see what makes the A-rated district excel but they also heard what their needs are from teachers like Lamenda Hase who, like many others, purchases her own supplies after the state supplied $391 runs out. “I have used school funding as well that is given to every teacher. However, that is not going to be enough for the multitude of sources that are out there. So I will use my own money to make sure they have enough to score very well on state tests and on the AP exam,” said Hase.
Wiggins said, “I know it happens but my question was why is it happening, so she was able to tell me that. That’s something we can go back and address.”
Today’s principal swap comes at an interesting time in both education and politics with a huge education funding vote coming up on November 3rd. Did walking these halls change the way these local lawmakers feel about funding our schools? “I think we need to find a way to change the way things are funded. You got to modify the formula. I think the MAEP formula is flawed to the point that it cheats districts,” said Busby.
Overall, lawmakers deemed the day a success, getting a glimpse into the lives of educators which is something they’ll keep in the back of their mind when casting votes on education policy in the capital.
State Senator Michael Watson, Representatives John Read and Hank Zuber and Judge Neil Harris also played the roles of principals at elementary schools in the district.

Categories: Local News, News

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