Organization pushes for pre-K system; asking for state money - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Organization pushes for pre-K system; asking for state money

Posted: Updated:
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

For the last three years Mississippi Building Blocks, through a pilot program, has served hundreds of childcare center classrooms across the state. The goal is make sure pre-K kids are ready to transition to the K through 12 system.

Now in its fourth year of private service to childcare centers, results from previous years show those children, who were part of the program, are far better off when they step into the classroom.

"When a child is better prepared when they enter kindergarten, they're going to be more successful," said Entergy president and CEO Haley Fisackerly.

"It's a private sector funded approach to testing a model that can then be adopted by the public sector," said Mississippi Economic Council President Blake Wilson.

To place it in the public sector and make it a statewide program, it'll take state money. Building Blocks will be asking lawmakers for $5 million. At an expected $2,000 dollars per child, that money would serve 2,500 kids across the state.

"This is a critical program, proven time and time again to be of great value to giving our youth

a jump start on a good education and a good future," said Major General Erik Hearon with Mission Readiness.

"With the expansion we will expand into more counties and some more centers and we do have a waiting list of centers that have been waiting to receive services from MBB," said MBB interim executive director April May.

Currently, at the direction of the state, the program is being carried by about $7 million in private fund raising money. That money is about to run out and if lawmakers are unable to come up with the money requested, Building Blocks will be forced to end the program. Supporters say that would be a blow to Mississippi's long term future.

"It is without question that these children are better prepared for kindergarten which means they're better prepared to go on to school life ahead of them which means they're better prepared to graduate from high school which means they're better prepared to be contributing citizens of this state, contributing billions of dollars in revenue," said Barksdale management Corporation chairman and president Jim Barksdale.

Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves says he is impressed by the results and supports expanding the program to include more children, but adds it's too early in the budget process to make a determination. Reeves says the legislature will take a look at the funding request during the next session.

Governor Bryant meanwhile, says he will issue his executive budget recommendation in November.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Gunshots inside a Gulfport home; one person is dead

    Gunshots inside a Gulfport home; one person is dead

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:39:15 GMT
    Gulfport police and the Harrison County coroner are investigating another murder. The coroner confirms an autopsy was being performed Wednesday on the victim.
    More >>
    Gulfport police and the Harrison County coroner are investigating another murder. According to a Gulfport Police Department news release, gunshots inside a Gulfport home killed a Carson Drive resident. Two suspects reportedly entered that home late Tuesday night and assaulted the victim while he slept. During that struggle, police report a gun went off, and a bullet struck the victim.More >>
  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:44:17 GMT
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.