Advocates for the expansion of Alabama’s First Class Pre-K Program are urging legislators to prioritize money in this year’s budget to expand access to the voluntary Pre-K program. The proposed budget increase of $23 million dollars was suggested by Gov. Kay Ivey. Bob Powers, Co-chair of the Alabama School Readiness Alliance Pre-K Task Force says the increase allows accommodation for more children. If appropriated, this will bring total First Class Pre-K investments to $100.5 million for the fiscal year 2019 and could add approximately 200 new classrooms and enroll approximately 3,600 additional four-year-olds. Across the state, there are 941 Alabama First Class Pre-K classrooms located in various public and private schools, child care centers, faith-based centers, Head Start programs, and other community-based preschool settings. For 11-years in a row, it has been ranked the number one state-funded pre-kindergarten program in the country for quality by the National Institute for Early Education Research. To learn more about Alabama First Class Pre-K program visit alabamaschoolreadiness.org.