On October 13, 2014, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) submitted Mississippi’s official application for the federal Preschool Development Grant. The purpose of this grant was to fund the development of state preschool programs in states with less than 10% of eligible four-year-olds in such programs. Out of an eligible pool of 16 states, Mississippi was one of 9 states that submitted the grant. Mississippi placed seventh of nine, with the top five-scoring states receiving funding.
Mississippi First, by request of the MDE, was deeply involved in the writing of the grant application. Mississippi First performed these services free of charge. On January 16, 2015, Mississippi First sent a memo to the State Superintendent of Education, Carey Wright. The memo provided a high-level analysis of the primary weaknesses in Mississippi’s application as identified by reviewers. To read the complete memo and review Mississippi First’s analysis of Mississippi’s federal Preschool Development Grant, click here.
At a recent meeting of the CCSSO, Secretary Duncan stated that Mississippi submitted a “great application” that he was “heartbroken” not to fund.