State Pre-K Access Continues to Grow But Still Only Available to 25% of 4 Year Olds

May 25, 2016
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama's pre-K program is growing, but it still isn't available to all of the children in the state.

More money is flooding into the program, which was recently ranked as one of the best in the nation by the National Institute for Early Education. 

“Our successes are little successes; you know, the child who hasn’t really grasped writing their name, and is one day writing his name,” said Keri lee, a pre-K teacher.

Last week, Gov. Robert Bentley announced an additional 2,700 more students will have access the state’s First Class Pre-K program.

Even with the increase, however, only a fourth of eligible Alabamans will get a slot in the program. Access to these classrooms could require children to win a lottery.

“Unfortunately, even next year with the expansion, three out of every four 4-year-olds won't get a slot,” said Allison Muhlendorf with Alabama School Readiness Alliance. 

Even if a child gets a slot, the program isn’t free. The amount it costs depends on the type of grant received by the classroom..

Bentley wants to make the program available to all Alabama families by the time he leaves office in 2019.

For the full WSFA story and video, please click link below:

http://www.wsfa.com/story/32045023/alabama-pre-k-grows-but-still-only-has-room-for-25-percent-of-alabamians