For the fourth consecutive year, a national education report rates Alabama's First Class Pre-Kindergarten program as being one of the nation's best.
The governor's office reports that the National Institute for Early Education Research rates Alabama and North Carolina as tied for the top spot for all quality standards in pre-K.
It's the fourth consecutive year the two states have shared the lead for pre-K standards.
The budget for Alabama's program has increased from $3.3 million in fiscal 2005 to $18.3 million for fiscal 2011, which begins October 1. During that period, enrollment in the voluntary program for 4-year-olds has grown from 990 students to 3,870.