Senate Bill 2585
Removes the cap on annual awards and expands eligibility for the Winter-Reed Teacher Loan Repayment Program.
Referred to Senate Committee(s)
Explanation of the Bill
SB 2314 would permanently raise the funding rate for Early Learning Collaboratives to $2,500 per child for full-day programs and $1,250 per child for half-day programs. Under SB 2314, the state legislature would also be required to increase, when the funds are available, the funding to Early Learning Collaboratives until 25% of Mississippi’s four-year-old children are served in the state. This would happen no later than the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year.
As it exists now, the Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013 establishes an initial investment into state funded pre-K and describes the potential phases of state funded pre-K as it expands. The new language in the bill would ensure a broader commitment to the state’s children that moves beyond funding and focuses on serving a significant percentage of the state’s four-year-olds regardless of the cost.
Currently, the law guarantees $2,150 per child for full-day programs and $1,075 per child for half-day programs. The rate increase would account for the actual amount it takes to fund quality pre-K in Mississippi and would ensure that the state does not have to raise the rate every year through the budget bill as they did in the previous three legislative sessions.
SB 2314 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. It is awaiting further action.