MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Nearly 3,000 educators are in Mobile for the Alabama Early Childhood Education Conference.
The Early Childhood Education Conference is for anyone who educationally serves children and their families from birth through the third grade. The conference consists of two days of speakers and training sessions.
Governor Kay Ivey spoke during the opening session of the conference.
She highlighted Alabama’s First Class Pre-K Program. The Alabama Legislature has increased funding from $77.5 million to $96 million for the pre-k program. By the 2018-19 school year, the First Class Pre-K program will serve 18,720 four-year-olds, which will reach 35 percent of the eligible four-year-old population.
“The legislature was very generous last year and gave the largest amount of funding to any program, 18.5 million dollars in Pre-K,” said Ivey. “They know that the program is working and I would hope that we continue to do that as we go forward.”
Ivey remarked while Pre-K is growing and thriving, we need to focus on other areas of early childhood education. She also mentioned the Alabama Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
“Only 35% of our third graders are proficient in grade-level reading. We’re working hard to improve that as well, but we’re on the right track and we’re making progress,” said Ivey.
The Early Childhood Education Conference runs through Friday.