K-12 Budget: $2.5 billion
Like many other Southern states, Mississippi scored low on the Chance for Success Index, which tracks a host of socioeconomic factors that can affect a state’s environment for school quality. Within that index, it ranked 50th on family income, 48th on parent employment, and 44th on parent education.
State leaders have sought to address achievement gaps by expanding children’s access to prekindergarten and by working to build the quality of existing early-childhood programs.
Participants in the state’s 14 early-learning collaboratives administer kindergarten readiness tests to gauge the success of their efforts. Overall, the state ranked ninth on the Quality Counts measure of preschool coverage, with 52.2 percent of students enrolled.
In 2014-15, the state began to implement a “3rd grade reading gate” that requires schools to deny promotion and offer additional support to students who are not proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade.
Third grade reading proficiency is widely seen as an important milestone and a key indicator of academic success.
In 2018-19, 75 percent of 3rd grade students passed the state’s reading assessment on the first try, and 83 percent passed a retest after they received additional support, the state’s education department said.
Mississippi ranked 49th in 4th grade reading in the Quality Counts analysis.
For more about Mississippi’s Quality Counts score,
Note: Enrollment is for the 2018-19 school year, and budget figure is for the 2019 fiscal year.
Research assistance from intern Héctor Alejandro Arzate.