The Mississippi House passed a bill Thursday to create Mississippi’s first state-funded prekindergarten program, in limited form.
House Bill 781 would create a voluntary program for 4-year-olds in some parts of the state. A similar Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, passed last week.
Both bills call for consortiums to be set up between child care centers, public and private schools, and Head Start programs to apply for funding. Successful applicants would adopt state-approved early learning standards aimed at helping children build motor skills, language, and social and emotional development, among other skills. The program would start by 2014-2015.