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May 2022 Group Watch: Alabama To Add 96 New Pre-K Classrooms In The Fall

Alabama’s First-Class Pre-K program was recognized for the 16th consecutive year for meeting 10 out of 10 quality benchmarks recommended by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The state is adding 96 new pre-k classrooms in 35 counties in the fall. The new classrooms, which will open the program up to 26,658 children and bring the state’s total to more than 1,481 classrooms, are made possible by the first round of funding released by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. Additional classrooms will be funded based on further evaluation of high-needs areas prior to the commencement of the 2022-2023 school year. The Alabama School Readiness Alliance’s Pre-K Task Force, formed in 2006, first proposed expanding voluntary pre-k access to all families in 2012, and since then, the state’s investment in Alabama’s First-Class Pre-K program increased 694 percent, from $19 million to $151 million. The program has also grown from enrolling six percent of the state’s four-year-olds in 2012 to 42 percent during the 2021-22 school year.

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