2012 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Representative Dickson
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT, A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP THAT SHALL IDENTIFY METHODS TO INCREASE STUDENT PREPAREDNESS FOR SCHOOL AT THE KINDERGARTEN LEVEL; TO PROVIDE FOR THE MAKEUP OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE FOUNDATION; TO REQUIRE THE BOARD TO MATCH FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE STATE WITH PRIVATE FUNDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING GRANTS FOR CERTAIN PROGRAMS; TO REQUIRE THE LEGISLATURE TO ANNUALLY APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT; TO REQUIRE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION TO MAKE GRANTS TO THE MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT FOR PURPOSES OF IMPLEMENTING AN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM; TO REQUIRE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION TO MAKE GRANTS TO A PRIVATE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION TO AID THE MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT; TO REQUIRE THE MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT TO ADOPT A SYSTEM OF EVALUATION AND TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC THE RESULTS OF SUCH EVALUATION; TO REQUIRE ALL AGENCIES, DEPARTMENTS, INSTITUTIONS AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OF THE STATE THAT PROVIDE PROGRAMS OR SERVICES TO CHILDREN IN THIS STATE TO CREATE, ANNUALLY, AN ITEMIZED LIST OF THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES PROVIDED TO CHILDREN SO THAT THE LIST CAN BE UTILIZED BY THE FOUNDATION; TO REQUIRE THAT THE LIST CONTAIN A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES, A RESOURCE MAPPING OF ALL FEDERAL AND STATE FUNDS RECEIVED, COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES, THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN SERVED BY THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES, AND ANY PERFORMANCE MEASURES USED TO ASSESS THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE ITEMIZED LISTS OF PROGRAMS AND SERVICES SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE JOHN C. STENNIS INSTITUTE OF GOVERNMENT AT MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY NOT LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 1 OF EACH YEAR; TO PROVIDE THAT THE STENNIS INSTITUTE SHALL COMPILE THE INFORMATION IN THOSE LISTS INTO ONE DOCUMENT, AND SHALL MAKE THE COMPILED INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE FOUNDATION BY DECEMBER 1 OF EACH YEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is created the Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development.
(2) (a) The purpose of the Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development, a public-private partnership, is to identify cost-effective ways to deliver quality early care and education experiences and parent education for families whose children are at risk of being unprepared for school. The foundation shall develop infrastructure supports and accountability measures to increase the quality of early care and education settings and must build community capacity for school readiness. The foundation will evaluate the resulting benefits and long-term savings to the Mississippi economy and the effectiveness of strategies for increasing children's readiness for school upon entering kindergarten.
(b) In addition to the duties prescribed in this section, the foundation shall require all agencies, departments, institutions and political subdivisions of the state that provide programs or services to children in this state to create an itemized list of the programs and services provided by that agency, department, institution or political subdivision. The itemized list shall provide the following information:
(i) A description of the programs and services, categorized by program, target population and geographical region;
(ii) An itemized resource map of all federal and state funds received for the programs and services;
(iii) The performance measures used to assess the expenditure of those funds, the intended outcomes of the programs and services and the actual outcomes of the programs and services;
(iv) Any costs associated with operating the programs and services; and
(v) The number of children served by the programs and services.
The agencies, departments, institutions and political subdivisions shall provide the itemized lists of the programs and services required by this subsection to the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University not later than September 1 of each year, and the Stennis Institute of Government shall compile the information in those lists into one (1) document, organized both by programs and services and by the agencies, departments, institutions and political subdivisions providing the programs and services. The Stennis Institute shall make the compiled information available to the foundation by December 1 of each year.
(3) The Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development shall seek tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The foundation shall be governed by a board comprised of the following seven (7) members:
(a) Two (2) members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one (1) of whom shall be a representative from the Department of Education and one (1) of whom shall be from the private sector;
(b) Two (2) members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of the Senate, one (1) of whom shall be the President of the Mississippi Head Start Association and one (1) of whom shall be from the private sector; and
(c) Three (3) members appointed by the Governor, two (2) of whom shall be from the industry of private early childhood development and one (1) of whom shall be from the private sector.
All appointments of the board shall be for a period of four (4) years. Vacancies shall be filled for the length of an unexpired term only. The board shall elect from its membership a chairperson.
(4) The Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development shall match dollars appropriated from the state with nonpublic dollars raised by the board. The board shall award grants for the following:
(a) Pilot projects that demonstrate successful approaches to the delivery of early childhood services and parent education to low-income families;
(b) Scholarships to low-income families to access early childhood parent education and high-quality early learning programs for their children; and
(c) The development of strategies to improve the quality of early care and education through early learning standards and assessment, a quality rating system, program improvement grants and professional development grants.
SECTION 2. The Legislature shall appropriate annually to the State Department of Education those state funds that may be necessary to support the Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development in carrying out its functions under this act.
SECTION 3. (1) Subject to the availability of funding, the State Superintendent of Public Education shall make a grant to the Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development to implement an early childhood development grant program for low-income and other challenged families. The goals of the grant program shall be to increase the effectiveness and expand the capacity of public and nonpublic early childhood development programs, which may include child care programs, and to lead to improved early childhood parent education and children's kindergarten readiness. The grant program may not supplant existing early childhood development programs or child care funds.
The grant program must include the following components:
(a) Grants to existing early childhood development program providers that provide parent education programs and to qualified providers proposing to implement pilot programs for this same purpose;
(b) Grants to enable low-income families to participate in these programs;
(c) Grants to improve overall programmatic quality; and
(d) An evaluation of the programmatic and financial efficacy of all these programs, which may be performed using measures of services, staffing and management systems which: provide consistent information about system performance; show trends; confirm successes; and identify potential problems in early childhood development programs.
(2) In order to implement the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, subject to the availability of funding appropriated for such purposes, the State Superintendent of Public Education shall make a grant to a private nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. The private nonprofit organization must be governed by a board of directors composed of members from the public and private sectors. The private sector members must compose a simple majority of the board membership. The public sector members must be state and local government officials, kindergarten through Grade 12 or postsecondary educators, and early childhood providers appointed by the Governor. Membership on the board of directors by a state agency official constitutes work duties for the official and does not create a conflict of interest under Section 25-4-105. The board of directors shall appoint an executive director and shall seek advice from geographically and ethnically diverse parents of young children and representatives of early childhood development providers, kindergarten through Grade 12 and postsecondary educators, public libraries and the business sector. The board of directors is subject to the Open Meetings Law (Chapter 41, Title 25, Mississippi Code of 1972). All other terms and conditions under which board members serve and operate must be described in the articles and bylaws of the organization.
(3) In addition to the duties prescribed under subsection (1) of this section, the Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development shall adopt a quality improvement and rating system for the purpose of evaluating a program's effectiveness. The quality improvement and rating system must serve in performing the following functions:
(a) Providing consumer information to parents on child care and early education program quality and ratings;
(b) Setting indicators to identify quality in care and early education settings, including licensed family child care centers, tribal providers and programs, Head Start and school-age programs, and identifying quality programs through ratings and ongoing monitoring of programs;
(c) Providing funds for provider improvement grants and quality achievement grants;
(d) Requiring participating providers to incorporate the state's early learning standards in their curriculum activities and developing appropriate child assessments aligned with the kindergarten readiness assessment;
(e) Providing accountability for the quality improvement and rating system's effectiveness in improving child outcomes and kindergarten readiness; and
(f) Aligning current and new state investments to improve the quality of child care with the quality improvement and rating system framework, by providing accountability and informed parent choice. The Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development shall report to the Legislature before January 15, 2014, on the progress being made under this paragraph.
(4) In addition to other duties prescribed in this act, the Mississippi Foundation for Early Childhood Development shall make available to the public the results of the quality improvement and the rating system that is conducted, as required in subsection (3) of this section, for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of a program. The board shall post the results of the rating system each time an assessment is completed, and the postings shall be made available to the public on the following state Web sites: the Mississippi Department of Education, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
(5) This section shall be repealed on July 1, 2016.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2012.