History of Funding for First Class, Alabama's State Funded Pre-k Program  

Since 2006, the Alabama School Readiness Alliance (ASRA) has led statewide efforts to advocate for increased funding for First Class, Alabama's state funded pre-k program, so that more four-year-olds have access to high quality, voluntary pre-k.

In 2011, ASRA established a statewide Pre-K Task Force that developed a set of recommendations for expanding First Class Pre-K to reach all four-year-olds on a voluntary basis. In 2012, the Pre-K Task Force released its recommendations to state policy leaders. In 2013, ASRA's Pre-K Task Force and ASRA's network of more than 1,000 grassroots advocates began working to secure those recommendations, which included a ten-year, $125 million increase in First Class Pre-K investments. As a result, the State Legislature approved an increase of $9.4 million for First Class in 2013 and another increase, of $10 million, in 2014. An additonal $105.6 million in state investments will need to be added to First Class Pre-K over the next eight years in order to accomplish the Pre-K Task Force's recommendation of expanding the program to reach all families within a decade-long expansion.

Budget year Amount of State Appropriations for First Class Pre-K in the Office of School Readiness (Dept. of Children's Affairs) Number of Classrooms
2005-2006 $  4,326,050 57
2006-2007 $  5,369,898 59
2007-2008 $  10,000,000 128
2008-2009 $  15,490,831 185
2009-2010 $  18,376,806 215
2010-2011 $  18,376,806 217
2011-2012 $  17,998,620 217
2012-2013 $  19,087,050 217
2013-2014 $  28,462,050 307
2014-2015 $  38,462,050 408

Source: Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office
Alabama Department of Children's Affairs