MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Release) – Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announces $6 million in the FY2020 budget for early childhood education.
That represents one of the largest investments in Pre-K in county history. In addition, Mayor Harris’ budget proposal is expected to outline a dedicated funding source for early childhood education.
“If funding is approved, we have a chance to increase literacy, the likelihood of high school graduation, and, further down the road, employability,” says Mayor Lee Harris. “We have a chance to ignite a boom in community benefit.”
“Strategic investments in our community, like saving and expanding Pre-K education, are incredibly important to our growth and success as a city and county,” says Shelby County Commissioner Michael Whaley, Chairman of the Education Committee. “We know how crucial a strong start is to a child’s future, and by ensuring high quality Pre-K and early childhood education options we can provide more students in Shelby County with the opportunity to succeed.”
In 2014, Shelby County received grant money to fund 50 classrooms and add 1,000 Pre-K seats. That funding is set to expire on June 30th.
The FY2020 budget includes $5.5 million for traditional Pre-K classrooms. Another $500,000 is allocated to Porter Leath for Early Head Start. Porter Leath will use the county investment to leverage more than $4 million in additional resources.
Mayor Harris plans to present the full budget overview to the Shelby County Commission on April 29, 2019.