JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) to add five new early learning collaboratives (ELC) to provide high-quality early childhood education pre-K programs to 4-year-old students.

The ELC expansion was made possible by $6.3 million in state funds. The new ELCs are:

  • Brookhaven Early Learning Collaborative
  • Kosciusko Early Learning Collaborative
  • Rankin County Early Learning Collaborative
  • Scott Early Learning Collaborative
  • South Panola Early Learning Collaborative

According to the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), five new ELCs will serve 840 pre-K 4-year-olds in eight new classrooms and 34 existing classrooms.

“When early learning collaboratives increase in Mississippi, it means more of our state’s preschoolers will have access to a quality early childhood education,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Academic and developmental success begin early on, and I’m thankful state lawmakers recognize the need to continually invest in this program.”