SBE awards 11 school districts with $15 million in grants for new State Invested Pre-K programs
Published 12:19 pm Monday, November 14, 2022
JACKSON, Miss. – Today, the State Board of Education awarded $15,450,000 in grants to 11 school districts to implement new State Invested Pre-K (SIP) programs.
During the 2022 legislative session, the Mississippi Legislature appropriated $20 million in new state funding to the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to provide grant opportunities to Other Early Learning Programs through public schools, including public school pre-kindergarten programs not participating in MDE’s Early Learning Collaboratives (ELC). The remaining funds will be used for overall management of the SIP program, including hiring coaches, financial management and coordination of the program during the grant period of Nov. 14, 2022 through June 30, 2025.
SIP programs will expand MDE’s offering of high-quality pre-K programs and have the capacity to serve 1,000 4-year-old children in 50 classrooms in school districts that are not part of an ELC.
However, just like the ELCs, SIP programs will meet all 10 National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) benchmarks: use of early learning standards, curriculum supports, teacher degree, teacher specialized training, assistant teacher degree, staff professional development, maximum class size, staff-child ratio, screenings and referrals, and a continuous quality improvement system.
Partnerships with local child care centers or Head Start grantees were not a condition for receiving SIP grants but were incentivized as a criterion for extra points in the application process. Pending the availability of funds, districts will continue to receive funding in years two through three of the program provided they successfully complete services from the preceding fiscal year’s grant.
The new Mississippi Beginnings: Pre-K curriculum, intended to support any preschool teacher in providing rich, play-based, intentional developmentally appropriate instructions, will be implemented in MDE’s ELCs and the new SIP programs.
Additional SIP funding opportunities have not been planned; however, an additional funding opportunity for school districts, local Head Starts, licensed child care centers and private or parochial schools to join the ELC program will be advertised in a few weeks at mdek12.org/PN/RFP.
View the chart below to see the grantee SIP districts and funding allocations for each:
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.