Alabama Pre-Kindergarten

Alabama School Readiness Alliance

Advocates of early childhood education are expecting another expansion of the state's pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, and they are waiting to see how much the governor will propose when the Legislature convenes Jan. 14.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he will recommend an increase, but he's not saying how much yet.

The Alabama School Readiness Alliance, the Alabama Partnership for Children and others are seeking an increase of $12.8 million for the upcoming school year.

Alabama School Readiness Alliance

Alabama will award nearly $7.3 million in grants to increase the number of children enrolled in its pre-kindergarten programs.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced the grant recipients Wednesday. The spending is part of a $9.4 million funding increase approved by the state Legislature.

Bentley had earlier sought an additional $12.5 million in state funding for the program in Alabama's education budget, though lawmakers ultimately approved less money.

Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program is expected to see a roughly 40 percent increase thanks to increased funding.

   Commissioner of the Department of Children's Affairs, Jeana Ross, told AL.com (http://bit.ly/12lVDg7) Monday that grant funding has helped state officials to form pre-kindergarten programs at 93 new schools.