JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri lawmakers are moving to put more of the state’s money where their mouths are in supporting preschool and early childhood programs.
House members this past week passed legislation that would allow public schools to begin counting some children attending early childhood education programs toward the basic state funding they receive. The measure is heading to the Senate where lawmakers have debated their own proposal.
Under the House measure, districts could count preschool students eligible for free and reduced price lunch. Unaccredited districts would have the option next school year, and those that are provisionally accredited could start in 2015-2016. Accredited districts would need to wait until Missouri’s school formula is fully funded.
Supporters say preschool can prevent children from falling behind early.