By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Financial incentives could entice parents to choose higher quality education centers for the state’s youngest citizens, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Tuesday.
“The challenge should not be ‘if’ we’re going to have good early childhood education,” Hosemann said, “but ‘how’ we’re going to do it.”
Hosemann’s personal interest in young children’s education comes from his three grandchildren, he said, and he believes that as a statewide elected official, it’s his job to push for a better life for everyone in Mississippi.
With that in mind, Hosemann said he’s set about looking for a way to boost parents’ interest in higher quality day care, as well as ways to mesh the final year of federal Head Start programs with local school districts.
“We need an incentive for parents to take a look at better education centers,” he said, suggesting increased tax breaks as parents choose higher quality private centers.
Hosemann, who’s seeking re-election this year, also said he hopes local school districts and Head Starts will find a way to bring 4-year-olds into school settings to better prepare the children to advance successfully.
“Clearly, we have to bring all our children in to the school’s programs,” the Vicksburg native said. “I feel very personal, passionate about this.”
Hosemann made his remarks on a visit with Daily Journal editors and reporters to talk about his work at the secretary of state’s office since his election in 2008.
He said he’ll make a formal announcement Feb. 25 about his re-election bid.
Hosemann, who was a corporate attorney before taking public office, reported on a wide range of initiatives he’s begun since taking office.
Chief among them are business-oriented programs to foster small business development, access to research programs and an upgrade in the state’s business laws.
Two years since the Stanford financial scandal, which cost scores of Mississippians their savings, Hosemann said his office is better equipped to watch out for problems, although he said he doesn’t believe federal regulators have changed much.
“We are better prepared and more active than when I came into office,” he noted.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.