The overall vision for Mississippi system is to create a statewide structure that fosters the cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional well-being of children 0-8 years old, prepares
ingchildren for school, engages families in their children’s learning, and cultivates the social integration of children.
How does one not see that? Fosters. Prepares. Engages. Cultivates.
$10,600,000. Thanks for your support, taxpayers of the United States of America. But here’s a news flash. Some problems can be solved by throwing money at them. For example, the problem of no high speed internet in rural Mississippi is being slowly solved by your throwing a lot of money at AT&T which developed Fixed Wireless Internet. Mississippi’s problems with education are not of the same sort. Throwing more money at yet another MS-ABC agency isn’t going to fix the problems.
The full report– A Family Based Unified and Integrated Early Childhood System— is so chocked full of sugary feel good speak it’s … well, it’s … . Go read it for yourself. The report identifies “priority areas” within the state; basically counties where the concentration of children living in poverty is one standard deviation above the state mean. Issaquena is one such county. It has a population of about 1300, with 437 households. Sixty-five percent of people over age 25 have graduated from high school (MS=83; US=87); Six percent– that’s 6%– have a bachelor’s degree or higher (MS=21; US=31). Thirty-four percent of the population is in the civilian workforce (MS=57; US=63). The median household income is $25,600 (MS=$42,000; US=$57,600). Thirty-eight percent of the population lives in poverty (MS=20; US=12). Looking at the data on Issaquena County businesses it seems there pretty much aren’t any of consequence. So, yes. This is a priority area containing 41 kids under the age of five, and 162 under 18.
Mr. Big Food and I once drove through this county and it is dirt poor. Those 162 kids need all of the help they can get.
There is no public library in Issaquena County! The nearest is in an adjacent county (which is not a priority area). It is 11 miles (15 minutes) away from Mayersville, the largest town in Issaquena County (pop. 547). This tidbit becomes highly relevant.
Any parent interested in receiving support under the Child Care Payment Program (CCPP) can do so by submitting an online application. The online application will seek information to determine eligibility as specified by the CCPP Policy Manual.my emphasis
Vouchers will be prioritized to children who fall into high priority populations which include: [a handful of measures including homelessness, and children of very poor parents].
Percent of households with a computer in Issaquena County? 59% (MS=79; US=87) Of 437 households, 256 have a computer; 181 do not.
Percent of households with a broadband internet subscription? 49% (MS=54; US=78) 215 households have high speed internet; 222 do not.
I do not think it’s too big a stretch to reason that the populations of poor people, people with no computer, and those with no internet overlap. So just where exactly are those kids’ parents supposed to fill out this online application? Not the county library!
Oh my god. It’s worse than I imagined. There are no public schools in Issaquena County! So those parents cannot even stroll in and ask to use the school library computers.
No schools–> no school libraries–> no readily available books. Good lord.
I think some of those very bright folks on the board of SECAC should write a grant proposal for a book mobile.