Senate Bill 2395, the “Early Learning Collaborative Fund”, now has a conference report outlining the final compromise for the bill. The legislation will now have to be approved by both chambers before it reaches the Governor’s desk. In short, we’re only a few steps away from finally having a state-funded pre-K program.
Your help is needed to get this legislation across the finish line. There are 23 House members that we’re targeting in our pre-K advocacy effort. These representatives have voted against a pre-K bill at some point during the session. Many of these legislators represent counties that have limited access to pre-K. SB 2395 would give these communities a chance to create partnerships that would expand pre-K access to many more 4-year-olds.
Help us get pre-K passed in Mississippi!
THE “ASK”: We’re asking legislators to take one action step.
- Vote for the Pre-K Bill. Vote “yes” on SB 2395, which would create a statewide program to fun collaborative pre-K programs.
The “WHY”: Legislators should pass and fund pre-K for the following reasons:
Pre-K prepares students for K-12 success.
A wealth of research has shown that the reading and math skills provided by high-quality pre-K ensures that students enter Kindergarten ready to learn.
Pre-K is a great investment.
Reducing the number of students unprepared for Kindergarten reduces the amount of funding needed to “catch kids up” in later grades. Pre-K students are also more likely to graduate for high school and college, and earn higher incomes as adults. Improving academic and employment outcomes will strengthen our economy and broaden our tax base.
SB 2395 improves early childhood education an a cost-effective manner.
By funding pre-K “collaboratives”, school districts, Head Start, and private childcare centers will build upon existing facilities and resources to expand pre-K access.
Collaborative Pre-K benefits everyone!
Students will enter Kindergarten ready to learn; School districts can do more enrichment and less “catch-up”; Head Start and private centers will have improved programs by including pre-K instruction from certified teachers; and parents will have options among several pre-K providers.
The “WHO”: We are reaching out to 23 legislators.
A spreadsheet has been added to our Pre-Kindergarten Resource Page, which can be downloaded to get contact information. We are reaching out the following representatives (counties in parentheses):
Rep. Tracy Arnold (Alcorn, Prentiss)
Rep. Mark Baker (Madison, Rankin)
Rep. Jim Beckett (Calhoun, Clay, Oktibbeha, Webster)
Rep. Scott Bounds (Neshoba)
Rep. Gary Chism (Clay, Lowndes, Oktibbeha)
Rep. Becky Currie (Copiah, Franklin, Lincoln)
Rep. Mark Formby (Pearl River)
Rep. Andy Gipson (Rankin, Simpson, Smith)
Rep. Forrest Hamilton (DeSoto)
Rep. Joey Hood (Choctaw, Grenada, Oktibbeha, Webster)
Rep. Steve Horne (Clarke, Lauderdale)
Rep. Bobby Howell (Attala, Carroll, Grenada, Leflore, Montgomery)
Rep. Robert Huddleston (Bolivar, Leflore, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie)
Rep. Wanda Jennings (DeSoto)
Rep. Bill Kinkade (DeSoto, Marshall)
Rep. Hank Lott (Forrest, Lamar)
Rep. Sam Mims (Adams, Amite, Franklin, Lawrence, Pike, Walthall)
Rep. Ray Rogers (Rankin)
Rep. William Shirley (Clarke, Jasper, Lauderdale, Newton)
Rep. Jeff Smith (Lowndes)
Rep. Tommy Taylor (Bolivar, Sunflower, Washington)
Rep. Jerry Turner (Lee, Prentiss)
Rep. Tom Weathersby (Copiah, Rankin, Simpson)
The “How”: You can advocate for Pre-K in three ways:
- Send an E-mail to Your Representative. Be sure to include (1) where you’re from, (2) The “ask,” and (3) why they should pass pre-K.
- Call your Representative. Ask them to pass the pre-K bill.
- Write a Local Op-Ed. Along with the “Ask” and the “Why”, share your personal experiences as a parent, educator, or concerned citizen.
Thank you for your help in getting this important legislation passed. For more information, please visit the Pre-K Kindergarten Resource Page.