Alabama is No. 1 in more than football as, once again, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) gave Alabama a perfect score in its quality rating for state-funded, voluntary First Class pre-kindergarten programs. The NIEER report, released April 10, 2012 (The State of Preschool 2011: State Preschool Yearbook) shows a perfect 10 out of 10 quality rating for the program which only reaches 6 percent of our 4-year-olds right now.
We are proud of the progress in how state funding grew and then maintained even during tough economic times, and recent surveys show that our citizens want to see the program expand. Even though Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation for program access, NIEER gives Alabama credit for holding pre-k investments steady in comparison to some other states.
Congratulations to all the hard-working teachers, administrators and program directors who are carrying out this work at the highest level and to state officials who have increased and maintained funding. Whatever the cost today and in future years, research shows that every $1 invested in high-quality pre-k saves taxpayers about $7 later when students can finish high school and pursue college or a good career.
We continue our support of efforts such as the Alabama School Readiness Alliance, which we helped to found in 2006 and that continues to work with business leaders, policy makers and children’s advocates to expand this program to all students who can benefit. Find out more about the report on the ASRA website.
If you want to be a partner with the Community Foundation in supporting this and other efforts to make children successful along the education pipeline, contact Erin Stephenson or make a gift on line to support this Result.