MESA, Ariz. — Mesa Public Schools is considering hosting a full-day preschool program offered by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The Bezos Academy began offering full-day, tuition-free preschool programs to sites around the country a few years ago after Bezos committed $2 billion to bankroll the project.
The network of "Montessori-inspired" preschools have opened up in Texas, Washington, Florida, and now Arizona may be the latest state to host the program. The preschools operate in existing elementary schools or college campuses and are intended to serve areas populated with low-income families.
Arizona's largest school district began looking into the program after hearing that the Bezos Academy was interested in expanding to the Grand Canyon State, MPS officials said.
On Sept. 12, the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board voted to allow administrators to begin negotiating with the Bezos Academy on the terms of a contract between the two entities.
Board member Joe O'Reilly said bringing the Bezos Academy to Mesa could offer a valuable alternative to the preschool programs already offered by the district.
"It's a full-day preschool, it's a full-year preschool," he said last week. "They're really focused on the students, giving them a high-quality experience and that would be very beneficial for our district."
Each classroom in a Bezos Academy campus enrolls no more than 20 students and all its teachers are licensed in the respective state they work in, according to the organization's website.
Any contract drafted between MPS and the Bezos Academy will be brought before the school board for approval.
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