Alabama ranks top 5 for best early education systems in the nation—here’s why

Alabama Preschool Ranks #5 For Best Early Education Systems
Alabama’s early education system is #5 in the country. Photo via BBC Creative for Unsplash

Back-to-school season is in full swing, and Alabama’s starting the school year with a top ranking for its great early education system. According to WalletHub, Alabama is #5 for best early education systems. We’re breaking down how they got this distinction—check it out.

#5 for best early education systems

Alabama Pre-K - Unsplash
Pre-K days can have a major impact. Photo via Gautam Arora for Unsplash

When you think of a state’s school system, elementary schools, high schools and colleges may be the first thing you think of. However, high-quality pre-K programs are an important factor. Whether you’re looking to move to a state with great education choices or you’re sending your own children to pre-K in Alabama this year, you’re in luck—the state is ranked fifth for early education systems.

How did WalletHub rank the states?

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three important dimensions: access, quality and resources and economic support. For each of these dimensions, they used metrics to score each state.

Here’s a sampling of metrics they looked at:

  • Share of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in a state pre-K program
  • Pre-K quality benchmarks (such as teacher’s education, curriculum standards and class sizes) met
  • Total reported spending per child enrolled in preschool

Alabama received a total score of 63.23 across these metrics. They ranked #14 for access, #6 for quality and #10 for resources and economic support.

This isn’t Alabama’s first rodeo

Alabama Preschool System
A win for Alabama. Photo via Jason Sung for Unsplash

Alabama’s First Class Pre-K Program (a voluntary pre-K program) has ranked #1 in the nation for 15 years. Studies have shown that students who participate in the program are more likely to be proficient in math and reading.

The Alabama First Class Pre-K Program has received increased financial support and access to the program has grown to over 34% of Alabama’s four-year-olds.

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Cecilia Wood
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