Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday visited Clanton Elementary School's Pre-Kindergarten Program to highlight his support for expanding First Class, Alabama's Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program.
First Class is ranked number-one in the nation for quality by the National Institute for Early Education Research. However, only six percent of four-year-olds in Alabama are enrolled. Governor Bentley is proposing additional funding in the fiscal year 2014 Education Trust Fund to expand access to the voluntary program.
"This is a wise investment that will change the lives of children across the state," Governor Bentley said. "A high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten program gives students a strong foundation. It improves their chances for success in K-12 school. We must give more families the option of enrolling their children in this successful voluntary program."
Currently, the Office of School Readiness is able to offer 217 First Class voluntary Pre-K classrooms. In his Education Trust Fund Budget proposal on February 6, Governor Bentley included a $12.5 million expansion for voluntary Pre-K. This proposal is expected to add at least 125 additional voluntary Pre-K classrooms in Alabama, serving approximately 2,200 additional students. Governor Bentley would like to see additional expansion in subsequent years to give even more families the option of Pre-K enrollment.
Voluntary Pre-K programs are offered through public schools, private child care centers, Head Start programs, universities and community-based organizations. Of the 217 First Class classrooms in Alabama, 102 are located in a non-public school setting.
House Education Budget Chairman Jay Love was among those who toured Clanton Elementary School's voluntary Pre-K program with Governor Bentley Tuesday.
"We have seen positive results among those who have participated in voluntary Pre-K. The continued investment in expanding Alabama's voluntary Pre-K program will yield huge dividends for our children in the near future," Representative Love said.
Animal Tracks for 5-22-2013
This weeks Animal Tracks features some very lovable animals who are in need of good homes.
Wallace Honors Spring 2013 Nursing Students
Wallace Community College recently conferred credentials upon spring 2013 graduates of the associate degree and practical nursing programs at the Dothan Civic Center. The graduates...
Sessions Remarks On Coalition Letter, Growing Opposition To Gang Of Eight's Proposal
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a statement regarding today's letter from a broad coalition of national...
Alabama Ready to Assist Oklahoma as Needed in Tornado Recovery
Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday said various state agencies in Alabama are in contact with their counterparts in Oklahoma to offer any assistance needed in the recovery from Monday's...
Video Extra: Health Minute - Benefits Of Eating Greek Yogurt
Let's talk yogurt.
Georgia Highway Officials Look To Cut Traffic Deaths Involving Bicyclists
Highway safety officials and cycling advocates are calling on Georgians to make 2013 a safer year for cyclists in Georgia.
Governor Bentley Issues Statement On Deadly Oklahoma Tornado
Governor Robert Bentley issued a statement following the deadly tornado that struck Oklahoma on Monday afternoon.
Video Extra: Yahoo Buys Tumblr
Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer has gone shopping...
Lawmakers Say 'No' To Gov. Bentley's School Tax Credit Amendment
The legislature turned back Governor Bentley's executive amendment to delay school tax credits.
Gun Bill Passes Alabama Legislature On Final Day
A controversial gun bill passed the Alabama legislature on the last day of the session.