Saturday, August 23 2014 2:48 PM EDT2014-08-23 18:48:18 GMT
Ferguson's streets were peaceful for a third night as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed...More >>
Ferguson's streets remained peaceful as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest that erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.More >>
Saturday, August 23 2014 2:35 PM EDT2014-08-23 18:35:43 GMT
A senior Hamas leader says the group signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations.More >>
Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a 12-story apartment tower in downtown Gaza City on Saturday, collapsing the building, sending a huge fireball into the sky and wounding at least 22 people, including 11 children,...More >>
Saturday, August 23 2014 2:06 PM EDT2014-08-23 18:06:15 GMT
Organizers expect up to 5,000 people to attend a march protesting the death of an unarmed black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a white New York police officer.More >>
Thousands of people expressing grief, anger and hope for a better future marched through Staten Island on Saturday to protest the chokehold death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.More >>
CLANTON, AL (WBRC) -
Governor Robert Bentley is out pushing his plan to expand the pre-kindergarten program in Alabama.
Bentley wants to add $12.5 million to expand the program to include another 2,200 students. This would expand pre-K to cover 11 percent of four-year-olds in Alabama.
"Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program has consistently been ranked number-one in the nation for quality by the National Institute for Early Education Research. However, only six percent of four-year-olds in Alabama are enrolled," the governor's office stated in a release.
Tuesday, Gov. Bentley and First Lady Diane Bentley visited Clanton Elementary School, which has three pre-k classes for 54 students. The school has operated a pre-K class for six years.
"It would make a difference when they go to kindergarten. It makes a difference when they go elementary school. Statistics show these students tend to graduate from high school," Bentley said.
The principal of Clanton Elementary said more than 150 students have successfully gone through the program.
"It gives them a head start. It put them on an even playing field because many of these children would not be able to attend pre-K unless they were in this program," Rebecca Threlkeld said.
Students in Clanton have to win a lottery to take part in the voluntary program because there are so few spots.
Chilton County School Superintendent Dave Hayden backed the program but Hayden wanted to remind the governor that his schools and others across Alabama are facing tough economic times.
"Please keep in mind our K-through-12 are obligated too. I hate to be the bad guy. Here again we got a problem financially we need to face," Hayden said.
Bentley assured Hayden he realized the problems facing local educators.
"We understand there are needs out there, not just this. The entire system needs funding," Bentley said.
Governor Bentley believes the legislature will pass the money to expand the program.
A fully funded program will cost $144 million. Ways and Means Chairman Jay Love of Montgomery says he wants to see the program funded but he wants to do it over ten years because of funding needs and the lack of qualified teachers needed for the program.