Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds gets high marks in a new national report.
The National Institute for Early Education Research says Alabama is one of only four states with pre-kindergarten programs that meet all the institute's quality standards. But the report says access is very limited in Alabama, with only 6 percent of 4-year-olds being served during the 2012-2013 school year.
The report praises Alabama for increasing funding for its pre-kindergarten programs since the school year covered in the report. It says increased access to high-quality pre-K programs will benefit Alabama children in the short term and long term.
The institute, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, says Alabama spent nearly $4,900 per child in the school year covered by the report.