K-12 public schools in Mississippi enroll almost 500,000 students, with 68% in poverty, 1% learning English, 54% minorities, and annual expenditures of close to $4 billion. (Most recent NCES data)
Mississippi is one of only five states in which no case challenging the state's education finance system has ever been filed.
“The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of free public schools upon such conditions and limitations as the Legislature may prescribe.” Miss. Const. art. 8, § 201.
Mississippi does not have a state-funded pre-K program.
But, in late 2008, the private sector launched Mississippi Building Blocks (MBB), a four-year program designed to provide effective support to existing licensed child care centers throughout the state, including centers that serve families with children that qualify for CCDF or TANF funding.
MBB provides business advice to center directors, materials for classrooms, parenting classes for participating families, and teacher mentoring.
The state allows public school districts to offer voluntary full-day pre-K programs for 3- and 4-year-olds, funded through non-state sources. The Department of Education has established voluntary guidelines and early learning standards that address curriculum and quality factors for programs serving 3- and 4-year-olds.