Dec. 12, 2011

    ST. LOUIS – Gov. Jay Nixon today visited the Peabody eMINTS Academy to applaud the St. Louis Public Schools for a historic $23.1 million investment in expanding access to early childhood education programs in the city.  Peabody eMINTS (Enhancing Missouri Networked Teaching Strategies) is ranked among the top elementary schools in the St. Louis Public School District.

    Under a proposal outlined by the St. Louis Public Schools and approved by the U.S. District Court last month, the school district will invest $23.1 million from the Desegregation Capital Fund to dramatically expand access to early childhood education programs.  This investment in early childhood education is one part of the district’s comprehensive plan to improve student performance and ultimately return to full state accreditation.

    “Each and every student in Missouri deserves access to a quality education, and that education must begin early in life,” Gov. Nixon said.  “By opening the door to more early childhood programs, we’re placing children on the right path toward learning, achievement and success.  I applaud the St. Louis Public Schools for making this historic investment in the future of these children and in the future of our state.  This expansion will make a real difference for Missouri.”

    During his visit today, Gov. Nixon toured two new preschool classrooms at Peabody eMINTS.  These new preschool classrooms are among 25 such classrooms being opened throughout the district under this agreement. 

    Specifically, the agreement and plan approved by the court calls for the district to invest:

    • $15.9 million over three years to open and fund 25 additional preschool classrooms throughout the district, two of which will be early childhood special education classrooms;
    • $4.7 million over three years to provide before and after care for preschoolers at 30 sites throughout the district; and
    • $2.5 million to expand the Parent Infant Interactive Program to Roosevelt, Beaumont and Sumner High Schools.  This program provides childcare and related support services that allow teen parents to continue their education.

          The district will invest these funds over three years, beginning during the current school year.

    “As educators, we understand the earlier children are in a classroom, the more likely they are to become successful workers and lifelong learners,” said Dr. Kelvin R. Adams, superintendent of schools.  “We are committed to expand access to early childhood education programs throughout our district, to ensure that every child enters kindergarten ready to learn and succeed.  This significant investment in early childhood education is another positive step forward for our district.

    Other provisions within the agreement call for the district to invest in student technology, professional development for principals, magnet schools and other priorities.