Ivey begins second term with education reform push

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey delivers books to Chisholm Elementary school students Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, in Montgomery. (Governor’s Office | Hal Yeager)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey isn’t wasting time as her second full term kicks off this week, as Wednesday she signed four executive orders focused on education and is encouraging the Department of Early Childhood Education to step up its efforts in underfunded areas.

Improving educational outcomes for Alabama’s students is Ivey’s No. 1 priority, she said, and she’s aiming for Alabama ranking in the top 30 states for math and reading skills by the time she leaves the governor’s office.

“I am proud to sign these executive orders into effect and believe they will lay an essential foundation for ensuring every Alabama student receives a high-quality education,” Ivey said in a statement. “This is the first of many steps I plan to take in this new term to increase Alabama’s national ranking in our students’ reading and math performance. Our children are our future, and by investing in their education, we are investing in a better Alabama.”

Here’s a list of those orders and what they entail:

  • Executive Order No. 729: Promoting Early Literacy by Establishing a Statewide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Network
    • Ivey authorized $4.1 million for getting the program started and ensuring every child in Alabama can receive age-appropriate books by mail each month until they’re 5 years old.
  • Executive Order No. 730: Establishing the Governor’s Commission on Teaching and Learning
    • The commission, which is comprised of a diverse group of subject matter experts, will examine ways to enhance the quality of elementary and secondary education in Alabama and will produce a report of recommendations by Dec. 1.
  • Executive Order No. 731: Ensuring Progress Toward Full Implementation of Vital Education Initiatives
    • During Ivey’s tenure in office, Alabama has launched several education-focused initiatives. This order directs the state superintendent of education to submit a report by June 30 outlining the progress of those initiatives and what should be done to continue their success.
  • Executive Order No. 732: Establishing a K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program to Increase Pathways to the Teaching Profession
    • This program will provide an additional pathway for qualifying paraprofessionals and teacher’s aides to obtain a teaching certificate by demonstrating competency in the classroom. The pilot program will be administered by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship within the Department of Commerce.

In addition to the executive orders, Ivey sent a memo to Secretary of Early Childhood Education Barbara Cooper that directs the department to prioritize creating new First-Class Pre-K classrooms in counties where more than 20% of the population falls below federal poverty guidelines.

Read the letter below:

ECE Memo on Pre-K Saturation

Categories: Alabama News, Local News