2000 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges; Appropriations
By: Representatives Scott (17th), Barnett (92nd), Clarke, Coleman (29th), Davis, Holland, Huddleston, Hudson, Ketchings, Markham, Mayo, McCoy, Miles, Mitchell, Montgomery (15th), Morris, Peranich, Reynolds, Smith (27th), Thomas, Thornton, Wallace, Ward, Warren, Young
House Bill 420
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE TO IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM TO ASSIST IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENT EDUCATION AND FAMILY EDUCATION PROGRAMS; TO SPECIFY CERTAIN MODELS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THESE PROGRAMS; TO DIRECT THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE TO ESTABLISH AN APPLICATION PROCESS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAM; TO REQUIRE CERTAIN APPLICANTS TO HAVE IN PLACE AN ADVISORY BOARD FOR THE PROGRAMS; TO AUTHORIZE THE EXTENSION SERVICE TO USE AVAILABLE FUNDING FOR GRANTS TO PARTICIPATING PROGRAMS; TO REQUIRE A REPORTING PROCESS ON EXISTING EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS IN THE STATE; TO ESTABLISH AN IN-HOME PARENT AND FAMILY EDUCATION FUND; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The cooperative extension service, in its discretion, may offer funds for replication of voluntary parent education and family education programs that support and affirm the role of parents as the primary early childhood educator of their children for families with children aged prenatal through four (4) years, or until entering kindergarten, using personal visits. The parent education and family education programs must provide parents with opportunities to voluntarily obtain support and services that will enable them to provide optimum learning environments for their children, particularly from birth to the age of four (4) years, within the home or a selected site. These programs must use research-based, independently evaluated, proven research models demonstrating the following outcomes: (a) children with enhanced language, problem-solving and social development; (b) children entering school with increased readiness skills; (c) fewer children who are placed in special education or remedial classes; (d) lower incidences of child abuse and neglect; (e) higher scores on standardized reading and math tests in elementary grades; (f) parents who are more confident in their parenting knowledge and skills; (g) parents who read more to their children; and (h) more parental involvement when children enter school. Program outcomes must be determined through a long-range evaluation that tracks participating children through the third grade.
(2) The cooperative extension service shall: (a) determine a process for interested school districts and other nonprofit entities in partnership with a school district to apply for grant funds in order to participate in the programs; (b) monitor program operations; (c) evaluate program effectiveness; and (d) develop rules for the administration of the program. In developing the process, the cooperative extension service must utilize, but is not limited to, representatives of the following categories: parents; local school districts' parent education programs staff; the Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children's Services; Head Start; the State Department of Education; and USOE funded parental assistance programs. If an Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Services, or similar organization, is established by act of the Legislature, the cooperative extension service may contract with such interagency council for the performance of its duties and responsibilities under this act.
(3) As part of the application process for participation in the program, applicants must demonstrate to the council that the program is a collaborative undertaking of various community organizations. School districts and other nonprofit entities in partnership with a school district applying for funds must develop a collaborative plan that includes, but is not limited to, participation of the local extension service, Head Start, health department, human services and other agencies as deemed appropriate and necessary. Programs seeking funds under this act must provide a twenty-five percent (25%) match. Programs must be housed in parent and family resource centers developed around existing Department of Human Services Families First criteria and the State Department of Education Parent and Family Center guidelines. Parent education programs shall have a broad-based community advisory board including, but not limited to, representatives of the following categories: parents; local school districts' parent education programs staff; Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children's Services; Head Start, private child care providers, State Department of Education; and State Department of Health.
(4) The cooperative extension service may accept any funds, public or private, made available to it for the program. The funds must be used to award grants to the participating parent education and family education programs for the support of such programs. A parent education and family education program may use any available funding to support the administration of the program.
(5) The cooperative extension service shall develop an annual reporting process to inform the Legislature, local school district personnel and the general public, as to all programs funded under this section, the following information:
(a) Number of children and families served;
(b) Number of parent educators and other personnel and their qualifications, training related to home visit programs and parent and family resource center establishment and experience levels;
(c) Annual program cost, with identification by name and amount of the source of funds for each program;
(d) Annual budget, administrative costs and other pertinent fiscal information;
(e) Annual salary and fringe benefit information for each employee in the program;
(f) Annual cost of materials, training and other instructional costs related to the program;
(g) Annual cost of program on a per-family basis;
(h) Other information as directed by the cooperative extension service;
(i) Advisory board members' names and titles; and
(j) Analysis of the program's impact on Grades K-3 as indicated in an independent evaluation.
(6) The In-home Parent and Family Education Program Fund is established. Funds made available by the Legislature for the support and maintenance of voluntary parent education and family education programs through personal visits authorized under this act shall be deposited into the fund. Beginning in fiscal year 2001, the cooperative extension service shall award grants for at least one (1) program in each Mississippi congressional district, not to exceed ten (10) programs statewide, with up to four (4) parent educators each in any Mississippi congressional district, and in subsequent fiscal years may award additional program grants subject to the availability of funds specifically appropriated therefor.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2000.