CONTACT: Office of the Governor
Pete Smith (601) 359-3150 or (601) 720-8733
Kathryn Stewart (601) 359-3150

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 18, 2004

GOVERNOR BARBOUR HOSTS NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE THIRD OF FOUR EDUCATION SYMPOSIUMS LEAD BY GOVERNOR

(Biloxi, Miss.) - Governor Haley Barbour was the keynote speaker today at a policy conference on teacher quality titled Teachers: Every School's Most Important Subject. The two-day conference being held in Biloxi, Mississippi, is sponsored by the National Governors'
Association (NGA), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and The Teaching Commission. It is the third of four education conferences led by Governor Barbour. These forums will lead to a major education reform package that will be sent to the Legislature in January.

"During today's conference I am focusing on the challenges and strategies for recruiting and retaining high quality teachers to rural schools," said Governor Barbour. "This conference will give us an opportunity to learn from the experience of other states and national educational policy experts."

The NGA Center for Best Practices, a sponsor of this event, supports governors on a wide-range of education issues by providing technical assistance, policy analysis and reports, and information on best practices.

Another participant in today's conference is The Teaching Commission, a diverse, bipartisan group comprising 19 leaders in government, business, philanthropy, and education. The Commission's strategy is to bring a national sense of urgency to luring and keeping the best and brightest in the teaching profession, and to muster the political will to act on recommendations for putting a high-quality teacher in every classroom.

"Teachers need and deserve state-of-the-art support and training--along with a professional pay system that recognizes and encourages excellence," said Scott Painter, a member of The Teaching Commission and a teacher at South Atlanta High School in Atlanta, Georgia. "We at The Teaching Commission are proud to bring our reform recommendations to the table in Mississippi--to help this state and others rise to the unprecedented challenge of putting a high-quality teacher in every single classroom."

The NCSL is also taking part in today's conference. This bipartisan organization serves legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states to provide research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on pressing state issues such as education.

The final education event to be held by Governor Barbour will be the Mississippi Education Summit scheduled for October 27 at the Marriott Hotel in Jackson.

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741