District seeks community aid

By NIKKI SMITH,

It’s nearing that time again.

Through the Mississippi Early Learning Collaborative legislation, support for a Mississippi Department of Education approved early learning collaborative could make individuals and corporations eligible for a 1:1 state tax credit for a donated amount up to $1 million. 

The deadline to receive the Mississippi pre-K tax credit will be Dec. 31.

Last year, Petal School District received approximately $530,000 through the tax credit. Coleman Center for Families and Children (CFFC) Director Dede Smith said the district is now planning to recognize those who donated through the tax credit with a special event next month.

Smith said they intend to host the donors for a breakfast on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 8 a.m. to thank them and show them the evidence of their giving by exhibiting the programs that the money helped.

She hopes to host previous participants in the CFFC auditorium so that the children may stop by to show them the “evidence of their contributions.”

“We also would like to encourage participation for this year,” Smith said.

The sum of the donations eligible for the tax credit cannot exceed the amount appropriated by the Legislature and will be credited on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those who donate in the Petal area are eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit after sending their Mississippi tax dollars to the Petal Early Learning Collaborative. This opportunity is available again this year, and Smith is asking for support for these early childhood efforts.

Whatever amount is owed to the state can be directly given to the local learning collaborative, which means taxpayers can opt to keep their money in Petal rather than send it to Jackson where it will be pooled and allocated throughout the state.

The Petal Early Learning Collaborative began receiving grant funds to start up in January, and 20 students enrolled in Petal School District’s pre-K class for the 2014-15 school year.

Call the Center for Families and Children at 601-584-4704 or 601-549-8688 for more information.