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Childers places priority on public education

Senate candidate Travis Childers sat down with the Daily Leader in an effort to share his plans for the U.S. Senate as a representative of Mississippi, with Lincoln County residents.

Much of his focus dwelled on education and employment in the state of Mississippi and their combined efforts to advance the betterment of the state.

“It’s time to do something different,” Childers said.

Deeming himself ‘the biggest cheerleader of community colleges’ and having graduated from one himself before attending The University of Mississippi, Childers doesn’t think the state utilizes community colleges as much as it could.

“I’m a huge proponent of public education,” he said.

Some people may think that senators don’t have much to say in education but Childers believes that since federal dollars help fund education, a U.S. Senator has a little bit to say about what goes on in a state’s education system. When asked what a family should do when confronted with an unsatisfactory school system, Childers encourages Mississippians to not abandon the state but to stay and help.

“We cannot abandon public education,” Childers said.

In turn, Childers believes that fully funded education from kindergarten on up could facilitate employment in the state. With Mississippi’s unemployment rate of 7.7% being the second highest in the nation, Childers’s answer is job training, which happens primarily at community, junior and technical colleges.

“We don’t have to spend too much money to change unemployment,” he said. “If education is not a priority we’re never going to break the cycle of poverty. There’s great pride in working.”

Having seen his mother work more than one job after the untimely death of his father, working to put himself through college and owning a company with 140 employees, Childers feels he has the business experience to facilitate a beneficial change to the unemployment rate in Mississippi.

“I’ve been on both sides of the paycheck,” Childers said.

The U.S. Senate hopeful said bringing more business people into the government could help Mississippi.

“Being Santa Clause is not enough,” Childers said.

He said he believes officials cannot continue to just throw money at issues instead of working to fix them.

Having donned the name “a William Winter Democrat,” Childers is proud of his devotion to education and change. Childers said he hopes things such as his use of common sense, his belief that compromise is not a bad word and his non-need to be the one who gets the credit will help him greatly amongst the diverse audiences of Mississippi.

“I just think I can make a difference,” Childers said.

Travis Childers is running against incumbent Senator Thad Cochran. Voting will take place on Nov. 4.