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Alabama to add more than 100 pre-K classrooms in fall

The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education will add 107 Pre-K classrooms in 33 counties this fall.

Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement in a Monday press release.

The new classrooms will expand the state’s voluntary kindergarten program to nearly 19,000 children in more than 1,000 classes in 67 counties.

This year the Alabama legislature approved an $18.5 million budget expansion of the state’s Pre-K program.

Ada Wyhe, spokeswoman for the state’s early childhood education department, said there are still nearly 40,000 eligible children who do not have access to Pre-K because of inadequate funding.

A government study of Alabama third-graders who participated in the Pre-K program revealed the initiative narrows typical academic achievement gaps between children in poverty and their more affluent peers, and between minority children and non-minority children.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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