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 worked to secure the first of ten annual $12.5 million increases for First Class Pre-K laid out in the Task Force's Recommendations. This $12.5 million increase was also recommended by Governor Bentley. The State Legislature ultimately approved an increase of $9.4 million, the largest single-year funding increase in the history of First Class Pre-K. This increase will bring the total First Class Pre-K budget to $28.5 million and allow more than 1,600 additional students to attend the program in the fall of 2013.

Budget Year Amount of State Appropriations for First Class Pre-K in the Office of School Readiness 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

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