Jackson, Miss. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says American education declined in quality when mothers started working outside the home.
Bryant made his initial remarks Tuesday in Washington during an education forum hosted by The Washington Post, and he elaborated on them later in an interview with The Associated Press
The newspaper reports that Bryant and two other governors were asked how America became "so mediocre" in education results.
Bryant said: "I think both parents started working. The mom got in the work place."
The Post reported that Bryant immediately elaborated on his remark by saying "both parents are so pressured" today.
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Bryant said having both parents working outside the home puts pressure on families, and that affects education.
Bryant's wife, Deborah, has worked outside the home for more than 38 years, including while their two children were growing up.
The forum focused on ensuring children can read well by the time they finish third grade, a focus of Bryant's during the 2013 legislative session.