Wetumpka Pre-K Preps For Possible State Budget Increase
Unlike the general fund, the education budget has already cleared one of the houses.
But some preschool programs are hoping to see it pass both soon so they can finish planning for next year.
Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program is rated number one in the country for quality.
But the problem now is finding the money to get every child enrolled.
“Here in elmore county just 5 percent of four year olds in the county have access to alabama first class pre-k. that’s lower than the statewide average, which is 13.5 percent,” said Allison Muhlendorf, Alabama School Readiness Alliance’s Executive Director.
Lawmakers are considering an almost 15 million dollar increase for the program this year.
And that means places like the Wetumpka Preschool could add a new classroom.
“That’s going to help our funding where we’ve got 26 children on roll right now to be actually, today we pull for the program for next year. So only 18 is all that we’ll be able to serve. So hopefully with that grant being passed we’ll have another class of 18,” said Deborah Davis, Wetumpka Preschool Administrative Director.
It’s not just more kids either. The school is hoping to improve the playground, adding new equipment and taking out the gravel.
There are also plans for an additional building to house the new students.
But this all hangs on the state approving the budget increase.
Christina Jones sees these students in her classroom every day. The school year is about to wrap up, and she says there’s a big difference from where these students started last fall.
“I see an extreme amount of growth. This program is awesome and I really would like to see more children involved in this program. We have children that come in and aren’t even able to hold a pencil. They may do linear scribble scrabble. They’re writing their names. They’re recognizing letters,” said Jones.