Archived Story

We need more pre-k classes

Published 2:59pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Last week, our local school systems found out that they will be receiving state funding to house pre-k classrooms.

Specifically, Hartselle received money to house one pre-k unit at F.E. Burleson Elementary School while Morgan County Schools received money to launch pre-k classes at Eva and Lacey’s Spring classrooms.

This is great news for our community. Adding pre-k classes at our local schools will only further enhance the educational opportunities of our children.

Pre-k is something that is needed in every school in Alabama. Where they have offered the classes, there has been great success.

Alabama’s First Class program is nationally-recognized for its quality. Only 6 percent of Alabama’s 4-year-olds are currently enrolled in the First Class program. The state also ranks 33rd in access among the 40 states that offer pre-k programs.

The last round of grants announced by Gov. Robert Bentley June 26 expanded Alabama’s First Class voluntary pre-k program to more schools, preschools, child care centers, Head Start locations and other new and expanding pre-k sites across the state.

One reason why our community was fortunate to get these grants was due to the collaboration between the school systems.

“This is the first time that we’ve ever worked together on a grant like this,” said Layne Dillard, director of special programs for Morgan County Schools. “I think it helped us get this grant, because I think they were looking for cooperation between school systems.”

I would like to congratulate Hartselle and Morgan County on obtaining these important grants. It’s the next step toward offering pre-k classes to every student possible in our community.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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