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State Board of Education approves three new early learning collaboratives to serve pre-K 4-year-olds

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted today to add three new early learning collaboratives (ELC) to the current list of 35 to provide high-quality early childhood education pre-K programs to 4-year-old students.

This ELC expansion is made possible by $2.1 million in state funds to be used by June 2025. State funding for the ELC program has steadily increased over the years starting with a $3 million appropriation in 2013-14 when the program began to $24 million for the 2022-23 school year. The total state appropriation for the ELC program so far is $78 million.

The new ELCs are:

  • Holly Springs Early Learning Collaborative
  • Lee County Early Learning Collaborative
  • Ocean Springs Early Learning Collaborative

The three new ELCs will serve 260 pre-K 4-year-olds in five new classrooms and eight existing classrooms. Through state funding more than 6,800 total ELC students will be served in the 2022-23 school year.

An additional funding opportunity for school districts, local Head Starts, licensed childcare centers and private or parochial schools to join the ELC program will be advertised in a few weeks at

The Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013 established the ELC program, which provides funding to local communities to establish, expand, support and facilitate the successful implementation of quality pre-K early childhood education and development services. The main goal of establishing ELCs is to better prepare preschoolers for kindergarten.

In spring 2022, 65.12% of ELC students met the end-of-year target score, compared to 61.53% of students in other public pre-K classrooms, which included a variety of class configurations, including Title I, self-contained special education and other school district pre-K programs.

In 2022, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) recognized Mississippi as one of only five states that met all quality standards for pre-K.

Find all MDE news releases at is a news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.

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Patrice is married to Greg Boykin and they have two sons, Bradley & Alex Boykin. Patrice is a lifetime resident of Simpson County. Patrice retired after 25 years in the Insurance industry where 23 of those years were with State Farm Insurance in Magee. She is very active in the community and has served in several leadership roles. Patrice has been a Secretary for the Magee Touchdown Club for 19 years and President of the MS Scholars of Simpson County. Patrice was a member of the Magee Adopt A School Program. She was elected to a term on the Simpson County School Board. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Magee Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Keep Magee Beautiful Committee and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Simpson County Technical Center. Patrice is a member of the Simpson County Republican Executive Committee. Multiple times, Patrice was named Parent of the Year for Magee Schools as well as District Parent of the Year for the Simpson County School District. Patrice & her family are members of New Hope Baptist Church.


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