Alabama Earns Top Ranking for Pre-K Program

Alabama is one of only two states nationwide to excel in every category of pre-k education.

Alabama is finally at the top of the list for achieving academic success. A new study puts Alabama at the top for quality of pre-k programs, but officials are concerned that not enough students are being served.

Executive Director of the Pre-K Program Steven Barnett said, "Failing to provide high quality early education opportunities has grave consequences for our society and our economy."

Now, Alabama representatives are working to make preschool education available to more children.

Governor Bob Riley said, "We have the highest quality pre-k in the entire country, but too few children benefit from it. Our proposal will maintain that quality and expand access so more of Alabama's children will benefit from the nation's best pre-k program."

Right now, state funded pre-k programs are serving low income families. Studies show wealthier families seek private education opportunities for their children, leaving a gap for middle income families. The new push to expand the pre-k program would help serve more children throughout the state.

"As a state, we make economic investments everyday,” Barnett said. “Well, there is no investment that can give us a greater return than pre-k."

Increased funding for the Alabama pre-k program still has to be approved by both the House and Senate.

North Carolina shares the top ranking for overall quality of their pre-kindergarten programs. This makes the second year in a row the states have shared the honor.

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