Education Advocates Call For More Pre-K EducationBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 16 Oct 2012 04:26pm |
Mississippi education advocates are calling on state lawmakers to spend 5-million dollars continue efforts to improve Pre-Kindergarten education in the state. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on a pre-K program that will end without state support.
In an attempt to show Pre-K education in Mississippi is effective and affordable, the Mississippi Building Blocks program gathered enough private money to run for four years.
That money is now up and advocates say they need 5-million dollars in the next state budget to keep going.
Interim-director April May says the trial program has shown it improves young children's school readiness.
"So that when they do go into a setting with 25 more children, they are able to be on level or above with those other children in that classroom. We don't want them going in behind because it is hard playing catch-up. It is very hard playing catch-up," May said.
The building blocks program works with pre-K teachers and child care providers to improve education.
Education advocate and businessman Jim Barksdale says improving pre-K education is key to helping the state.
"We are the only southern state that doesn't give state money to early childhood education. but this is a way to do it. It is effective and efficient. And I don't know what more you could want if you want to do anything with early childhood," Barksdale said.
The five-million dollars would bring the program to roughly 25-hundreds Mississippi kids.
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