Alabama’s state-funded, high-quality, and voluntary pre-k program is again named the nation’s best pre-k program. This is the eighth year in a row that Alabama’s First Class Pre-k was given this distinction by the National Institute of Early Education Research. Alabama is one of four states that meet all ten high-quality indicators. Program officials say the Alabama School Readiness Alliance program First Class Pre-k initiative is helping to close the academic achievement gap between lower income students and their higher income peers. And that because of its notable results, state leaders have doubled their pre-k investments for the last two years.