State hopes to land in funds for early child ed

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi is one of 10 states competing for a share of $50M in federal funds to strengthen early childhood education. The awards should be revealed by Dec. 31.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Mississippi plans to compete for the federal funds – despite the fact it lacks a statewide pre-K program.

Mississippi is one of 10 states and the only Southern state with no universal early education program, according to Pre-K Now, an organization that advocates for universal, state-funded early education programs.

But three other states without universal pre-K – Hawaii, Wyoming and Idaho – are competing for Race to the Top funds.

Some educators and advocates say Mississippi in a good position to win, because of efforts under way to improve early childhood education in the state.