State-funded preschool plan gathers support

Top Mississippi leaders are endorsing a plan that would have the state government fund voluntary 4-year-old preschool.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn held a news conference Wednesday to promote the plan. Gov. Phil Bryant released a statement endorsing it. All three are Republicans.
“I think it’s going to make a huge difference long-term in improving the overall educational performance of our citizens,” Reeves said.

It’s another in a series of attempts to offer state-funded preschool in Mississippi, which trails most other southern states in offering a program. In 1990, under Gov. Ray Mabus, the Legislature passed a pilot program but never funded it.