Huntsville Area School Systems Hope Governor Lives Up To His Word On Pre-K Education

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Governor Robert Bentley mentioned bits of his education plans in the State of the State Tuesday night.  He emphasized pre-k education.

The days before kindergarten are a vulnerable time for kids.

It’s part of the reason that pre-k programs exist — to let kids grow in a safe, productive environment.

Huntsville City Schools Deputy Superintendent Barbara Cooper explains, “All of the research demonstrates students who have an opportunity to participate in pre-k programs are able to really be put on a trajectory for success.”

It’s not fair for a kid to get derailed before they turn five.

So Huntsville City Schools has emphasized pre-k for the last three years.  They’re up to 38 classrooms serving around 800 students.

Cooper notes, “In 2011 and ’12 we opened pre-k programs in January of that year.  We opened just a few pre-k programs, and each year since 2011-12, we’ve expanded those programs.”

The governor made the case for more pre-k programs to all the legislative movers and shakers on Tuesday night, but Cooper makes a pretty compelling argument for this type of education herself, “I wish that people would understand that it absolutely is an academic strategy and an economic strategy.  Investing in pre-k is absolutely the way to improve our schools, to improve our cities, to improve our country.”

So a little extra love from state leaders for programs like these could help the next generation of state leaders stay a step ahead of the game.

Huntsville City Schools currently has around 160 kids on a waiting list to get into to pre-k programs.

Madison City Schools have pre-k programs currently running.  They actually just bought a new facility for them.

Madison County Schools currently rely on federally funded Title I programs.  A spokesperson says state funding to expand would be welcome.


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