Mississippi among five states recognized for quality state-funded Pre-K
Mississippi is highlighted in a new report, saying our state gets a gold star for quality preschool. The report from the National Institute for Early Education Research looked at state-funded preschool programs, it named Mississippi as one of five states that met all ten benchmarks for quality preschool.
The report measured things like class size, teacher training, and availability of nutritious meals. Alabama, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Alaska were also named.
But remember, Mississippi just recently started a state-funded preschool program last year, one that's only available to a limited number of communities which already had working collaboratives. In fact, one statistic from KIDS count suggests that state-funding helps less than 6% of Mississippi's four year olds.
Some state legislators are hoping to pump more money into Mississippi's pre-K collaborative, but at least it's a start. There are still nine states in the country that don't have any state-funded pre-k.
The report from Early Education Research this week also shows that less than 40% of all four year olds in the U-S are enrolled in any kind of public preschool, including Head Start.