***The Meet Your Chairmen series has been interrupted for this important note on yesterday's subject, Rep. John Moore.***
Former House Education Chairman Cecil Brown (D-Jackson), served on the Education Committee for two terms before becoming its chairman. Rep. Brown is a certified public accountant who is generally considered an expert on budgetary issues such as education, with a resume that includes being the Executive Director of the Department of Finance & Administration and a Governor’s Chief of Staff. Brown received a bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss in mathematics and English, and a master’s degree with special distinction at the University of Texas. After last Friday, Rep. Brown is no longer a member the Education Committee, let alone its chairman. Republicans rejoiced at this.
Rep. John Moore (R-Brandon), by contrast, never served on the Education Committee before becoming its chair. As outlined yesterday, that doesn't mean he didn't have his own inventive solutions for how to move Mississippi off of the bottom educationally. From reducing the number of days spent in the classroom to preventing teachers from teaching about the Civil Rights Movement, Rep. Moore has been a font of ideas.
One thing Rep. Moore has not been, however, is overly dedicated to his own education. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, Mississippi House Education Chairman John Moore doesn't have a college degree:
Surely, the Paul Gallo interview is just days away now, in which Moore will explain his lack of a college diploma by citing some personal hardship or tragedy that befell him in the mid 1970s. And that's all fine and good. One does not need a college diploma to make it in life. A personal commitment to one's own education should be a requirement to head the House Education Committee, however.
So the takeaway is this: new Speaker Philip Gunn just appointed a man with no college degree to head our Education Committee. This is in stark contrast with the previous chairman, who earned a college degree with a double major and a masters degree with honors. I'm sure the national media will have a field day with this one.
Arkansans, on behalf of Speaker Gunn, you're welcome.
***BONUS*** - In an unrelated matter, I couldn't help but note that Rep. Moore also offered a bill that would prohibit municipalities from collecting taxes from tobacco sales if they restricted tobacco use inside the city limits. Yes, you read that right. If Rep. Moore had his way, towns that prohibit smoking in restaurants would be denied the ability to collect sales tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.