By Gary Lloyd
MONTGOMERY — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will ask legislators to approve a $700 million tax and revenue package in the upcoming legislative session, according to www.myfoxal.com.
Bentley said at Thursday’s Alabama Governor’s Early Childhood Education Leadership Summit that he wouldn’t “sugarcoat” the state’s budget situation, saying Alabama needs additional revenue to maintain services.
Bentley is expected to discuss his proposal March 3 in his State of the State address.
Nearly 300 early childhood education leaders from across the state gathered in Montgomery on Thursday to discuss and learn more about the state’s vision for high-quality early learning and care beginning at birth and continuing through age 5.
The summit was a celebration of the state’s high-quality early childhood programs and the shared vision for comprehensive early learning held across the state.
“There is no issue more important to Alabama’s economic future than developing our next generation of children,” Bentley said in a statement. “Children start the learning process at birth, and I believe early education is the foundation for success in life. Today’s summit was a great opportunity to highlight the importance of early childhood education and I appreciate the partnership and commitment of those who work in early childhood education.”
The summit highlighted the state’s voluntary First Class Pre-K program, home visiting programs, child care centers, and elementary schools and new federal grants for Early Head Start/Child Care Partnerships and Pre-K expansion. Speakers discussed how the state’s focus on research-based and developmentally appropriate learning activities is one reason why Alabama’s early childhood education and care programs are among highest quality programs in the country.
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