[Rachel talks to Patty Davis about Pre-K in Mississippi.]

Is Mississippi Ready for Government-Funded Pre-K Education? by Patty Davis

Mississippi Public Broadcasting–July 30, 2009

Only 20% of Mississippi 4th and 8th graders test proficient in the three R’s. Reading Writing and Arithmetic. MPB’s Patty Davis reports on the efforts of one group that wants to move Mississippi off the bottom in education.

With tight budgets and an increasing demand for state dollars, Legislators often fund state agencies and programs on a year to year basis. But when it comes to education, a year to year funding mechanism does not seem to produced long term improvements.

Barker: Does there need to be state commitment? Absolutely. The question is how do we most efficiently do that with the capacity that we already have.

Representative Toby Barker of Hattiesburg was one of three lawmakers at the Capitol Thursday who listened to a presentation by Mississippi First – a non-partisan, nonprofit organization promoting government funded pre-K education. Mississippi First’s Rachel Hicks says the state has been at the bottom of the education ladder, since those statistics began in the 70’s.

Hicks: We are going to continue to be there unless we make a commitment to do every single research proven thing that we can to give our kids an advantage and high quality pre-kindergarten is one of the most regarded interventions for kids to enable them to be successful in high school and beyond.

Hear Rachel Discuss Pre-K issues on MSF Radio>

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