Business leaders ask state to pay for early childhood education program

JACKSON – A group of business leaders is asking state lawmakers for $5 million to expand Mississippi Building Blocks, a pilot early childhood education program.

The program has operated over the past four years with about $7 million of mostly private dollars.

But without a state investment, Mississippi Building Blocks will run out of cash this year, Claiborne Barksdale, CEO of the Barksdale Reading Institute, said Tuesday at a news conference.

His brother, businessman and philanthropist Jim Barksdale, put it this way:

Hattiesburg American