/What’s next for Mississippi Symposium searches for answers

What’s next for Mississippi Symposium searches for answers

The discussion was hosted by Tougaloo College and Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Panelists were Daphne Chamberlain (history department chair at Tougaloo College); Marty Wiseman (professor emeritus of politics and former executive director of Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University); Sen. John Horhn (D-Jackson); and James Barksdale (chairman and president of Barksdale Management Corp. Former Gov. William Winter moderated. Panel members stated that Mississippi will suffer from the enactment and resistance to the removal of Confederate emblems from the state flag, as well as the reduction of budgets for state agencies and the state’s religious freedom law. Consistent theme was the importance of education. Horhn stated that to combat poverty in the state, it is necessary to “make our minds up to ensure everyone has access to education.” Barksdale stated that the state does not necessarily need to spend money in order to make positive changes. Barksdale praised the passage of a law this year that requires all local school directors to be appointed and not elected after January 1, 2019. This is a way to allow more qualified candidates to apply beyond their individual school districts. He also mentioned the positive impact of reading coaching in elementary education on third-grade reading tests. Horhn stated that, beyond public school issues, individual voters also have a voice, but they may be under- or mis-educated. He asked, “How can we educate the electorate so that they make better decisions?”