Ala. awards $7.3M in grants for pre-kindergarten


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama will award nearly $7.3 million in grants to increase the number of children enrolled in its pre-kindergarten programs.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced the funding Wednesday, which represents a 38 percent increase in program spending.

Separately, Bentley had earlier sought an additional $12.5 million in state funding for the program in Alabama's education budget. The state Legislature approved a $9.4 million increase, less than what Bentley wanted.

The Republican governor said in a statement that children deserve the opportunity to excel. He called the grants a "wise investment."

State officials are trying to increase enrollment in Alabama's pre-kindergarten program. Only 6 percent of the state's 4-year-olds are enrolled.

The grant funding will be divided among 93 sites across the state.

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