HARTFORD, Ala. (WDHN) — State leaders are in favor of Gov. Ivey’s budget request asking for more money for the state’s first-class Pre-K program.
“I’ve always supported the governor in her pre k initiative I think it’s been a wonderful program in the state of Alabama,”
A Pre-K program expansion campaign started about 10 years ago and under 10 percent of 4-year-olds had access to a quality education program. Since then, there has been a tremendous increase in children.
“Back in 2013, we had 5,000 kids that were involved and as of 2019, there are 21,000 kids involved in our pre-k program,” Rep. Sorrells said.
Governor Ivey proposed a 24 million dollar increase which will include more classrooms. Representative Sorrells says it’s an acceptable amount for the state’s budget and it will most certainly pay off.
“Kids that go through a Pre-k program are less likely to have to repeat a grade and they are more likely to graduate high school and go to college,” Rep. Sorrells said.
Geneva County Schools superintendent Becky Birdsong says they have two classes at each elementary school holding up to 18 children. She believes every 4 years old should attend Pre-K.
“Especially for those that have not been in a daycare and we have a lot of kids that come to school that don’t know their names and have never held a pencil or crayon so we work on those basic things in pre k and of course the social and emotional learning and it can only benefit as they go into kindergarten and first grade as they go into those early elementary years,”
Just a fun fact, the Alabama pre-k program has been named the best in the country for 14 years in a row. Miss birdsong also wanted to thank Governor Ivey, Senator Chesteen and Representative Sorrells for backing early childhood education.