Since our inception in 2008, Mississippi First has been a strong supporter of pre-K. Our ultimate goal is to get the state of Mississippi to commit state funding for high-quality pre-K programs. To that end, we’ve spent much of the last four years learning about the early learning community here in an effort to assess opportunities and weaknesses.

The result of our pre-K investigations was our first-ever issue brief, Leaving Last in Line, which we published in January 2012. Leaving Last in Line examines Mississippi’s early learning sector and makes recommendations for how the state can move forward with pre-K in a quality and cost-effective manner by using collaborative delivery models. Collaborative delivery enables public schools, private childcare, and Head Start to work together to provide high-quality services to four-year-olds in a community. Mississippi First proposed a specific collaborative delivery concept in our brief.

To further our collaborative concept over the next several months, we have chosen to add to the early education sector’s understanding of how Mississippi’s current programs and practices might serve as a foundation for collaboration. Because public schools are at the heart of our collaborative proposal, it made sense to us to figure out how public school pre-K could become a springboard for collaborative delivery. However, our research for Leaving Last in Line didn’t reveal a lot of information about what public school pre-K looked like for children attending the program. This problem led to our new research project on public school pre-K, beginning with Title I pre-K–pre-K classes in public schools which are funded using federal Title I program dollars.

We began this work in late June/early July of this year with a document review of the applications that school districts submit to receive Title I dollars. We published a preliminary report in September with our findings from that document review.

You can help us by contacting the Federal Programs Office of your school district to encourage them to complete the survey. (See the list of relevant districts below.) Our goal is to have all responses by November 30 so that we can begin analyzing the data right away. We hope to have findings to present to legislators in January.

Title I Pre-K Districts

  1. Aberdeen
  2. Attala County
  3. Baldwyn
  4. Benoit
  5. Calhoun County
  6. Chickasaw County
  7. Choctaw County
  8. Claiborne County
  9. Cleveland
  10. Coahoma County
  11. Columbus
  12. Corinth
  13. East Jasper
  14. Forest City
  15. Franklin County
  16. Greenville
  17. Greenwood
  18. Hattiesburg
  19. Hazlehurst City
  20. Hollandale
  21. Holly Springs
  22. Holmes County
  23. Jackson Public
  24. Jefferson County
  25. Kemper County
  26. Laurel
  27. Louisville
  28. Madison
  29. Meridian
  30. Neshoba County
  31. Noxubee County
  32. Oktibbeha County
  33. Oxford
  34. Philadelphia
  35. Picayune
  36. Pontotoc County
  37. Poplarville
  38. Quitman County
  39. Rankin County
  40. South Delta
  41. South Panola
  42. South Tippah
  43. Tunica County
  44. Tupelo
  45. Union City
  46. Vicksburg-Warren
  47. West Point
  48. West Tallahatchie
  49. Western Line
  50. Wilkinson County
  51. Yazoo City

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *