• Early Education

As a follow-up to the Title I Preliminary Report, Mississippi First released the 2015 State of Pre-K report, the first report of the State of Pre-K series. In both 2013 and 2014, the Legislature appropriated $3 million to the pre-K program. With this small investment, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) could only fund 11 communities. These communities, in turn, only serve about 4% of all the four-year-olds in Mississippi. To build the case to expand the state program, advocates need good data about how pre-K currently operates in Mississippi.

This report seeks to present a clear picture of the number, types, and characteristics of pre-K providers in each Mississippi community, identify where the need is greatest for access to high-quality pre-K, and monitor the state’s early education progress through the creation of an on-going database that becomes more comprehensive over time.

Major Takeaways

The provision of classroom-based pre-K was widespread in Mississippi in 2011-2012.

Combining information from the Preliminary Report and the survey, 77 school districts offered school year or summer pre-K in 2011-2012, either by running district pre-K programs (44), running blended Head Start programs (14), and/or providing space for a partner to run preK programs (23). All but three of these districts ran full-time, school-year, classroom-based programs.

Access to publicly funded pre-K varies greatly.

Access to publicly funded pre-K ranged from 0% to 100%, with the average access rate being approximately 49%. (We were unable to calculate an access rate for eleven of Mississippi’s K-12 school districts due to a variety of circumstances particular to those districts.)


rachel canter

Rachel Canter

Executive Director

Rachel Canter is the Executive Director of Mississippi First and author of additional Mississippi First reports, including Leaving Last in Line, the State of Pre-K series, and Nothing in the Pipes: Educator Crisis in Mississippi (2020). Rachel founded Mississippi First in 2008.

angela bass

Angela Bass

Former Deputy Director of Policy, 2014-2019

From 2014 to 2019, Angela Bass was the Deputy Director of Policy for Mississippi First. She analyzed policy and data, developed policy proposals, conducted advocacy activities directed toward policymakers, wrote research and policy papers, and delivered policy presentations.