Governor Bentley aims to boost Pre-K funding - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Governor Bentley aims to boost Pre-K funding

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The state of Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation for Pre-K access. The state of Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation for Pre-K access.

In an effort to keep education a top priority in the state of Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley called for lawmakers to increase the amount of money Alabama spends on its Pre-K voluntary program for 4-year-olds. Bentley made the request in his State of the State Address Tuesday night.

The state of Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation for Pre-K access. Only 6 percent of 4-year-olds are enrolled in Pre-K. 

In an effort to move up in the ranks, Governor Bentley is trying to get lawmakers to boost the amount of money the state spends on its Pre-K program. 

"It's allowing 4-year-olds the opportunity to go to school and have an opportunity to win and be better by the time they get into Kindergarten," said Darius Crayton. 

Crayton is with the Decatur/Morgan County Quality Education Committee.  He said kids who tend to get a head start in the classroom tend to have brighter futures. 

"We're finding out now that children who don't have good scores between the 1st and 3rd grade, they begin to develop prison systems based on those 1st through the 3rd grade test scores," he said.  "So we have to have a collective effort to make sure that these children are afforded opportunities to get good quality education."

Education that comes at a cost, but Crayton is optimistic about people investing in education.

"There are people who are ready and willing to go out and put their own dollars in as well as get the rest of the community geared up to fund it ourselves," he said.  "So it's going to happen. The more money we get, the more kids we will be able to provide for, so we're excited about it."

Bentley's proposal must be approved by the Alabama legislature.

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