Becky Currie


2024 Session


Latest Action

The House Education Committee failed to vote on HB 1042 by the March 5 deadline, causing the bill to die in committee.

Explanation of the Bill

This bill has a companion bill, SB 2556, in the Senate.

House Bill 1042 adds language to the Early Learning Collaborative Act to enumerate the metrics that the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) should use when evaluating the Mississippi Department of Education’s (MDE) early learning collaboratives, the state-funded pre-K program, in the future. The new language will require MDE’s data collection efforts to include specific metrics to ensure that PEER has the necessary data to conduct its evaluation. 

As it stands, the collaboratives have to be evaluated by PEER every three years for their effectiveness using longitudinal data to measure the short- and long-term effects of the program. In PEER’s most recent evaluation of the collaboratives, they encountered a number of data collection issues that hindered their ability to evaluate the collaboratives. Most notably, Head Start students were not tracked in MDE’s Mississippi Student Information System (MSIS) due to problems with MSIS. Head Start sites account for 39% of all collaborative sites. MDE has since launched a new data system, MSIS 2.0, that corrects this issue. 

This bill would not represent a large change, but the short- and long-term effects would be enumerated as: 

  • Kindergarten readiness;
  • English language arts proficiency in grades 3 through 8; 
  • Math proficiency in grades 3 through 8;
  • Science proficiency in grades 5 and 8; 
  • Disciplinary incidents;
  • Chronic absenteeism; 
  • On-time graduation rate;
  • College enrollment;
  • Grade retention; and 
  • Special education services and exit outcomes.

Though this bill would clarify metrics to track over time, it does not address evaluation design to ensure that future evaluations would allow analysis of causation (i.e., causal statements about the effects of the program). Furthermore, though these metrics track several important long-term outcomes, they do not enable the legislature to gauge the program’s effects in the immediate months and years after participation in the ELCs. As a result, the legislature would need to wait until participants are multiple years out from the program before most of the metrics would yield evidence. This is why many well-regarded evaluations of pre-K programs provide a balance between short-term and long-term metrics, which is something the legislature should consider.

2/8/24On February 8, HB 1042 was referred to the House Education Committee
3/5/24The House Education Committee failed to vote on HB 1042 by the March 5 deadline, causing the bill to die in committee.