GOP gubernatorial candidate Lindy Blanchard joined a rally for school choice at the State House on Wednesday. Blanchard followed this up with a letter to supporters firmly stating her support for school choice.

“Education is a priority of mine, and I wanted to stand in solidarity with them to say that education should be a priority of those in Montgomery too,” Blanchard said. “I am a product of Alabama public schools. I have put seven children through–public, private, homeschooling and now remote learning due to COVID–and I have even supported two local private schools through my foundation. I'm a supporter of Charter Schools.

“It is easy to say you're an advocate for school choice when you have never had a child in the system, but I have lived every aspect of it. To allow Alabama to continue to finish at the back of the pack in school rankings is absolutely not acceptable, and I will not stand for it. As your Governor, I will make education one of my biggest priorities. I will work to fund children, not schools.”

In the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing for which all states participated (2019) to a large degree, Alabama fourth-graders ranked number 52 in math and number 46 in reading.

“Currently, one in five bachelor's degree graduates in Alabama leave within five years to live and work out of state,” said Blanchard. “We can and must do better for our children and for the future of our state. The quality of our education results in stronger Alabama communities. Literacy and basic math skills directly affect the quality and retainment of our workforce.”

Blanchard acknowledged the growing teacher shortage in Alabama.

“We need to attract and retain the best talent,” Blanchard said. “Our universities aren’t graduating as many teachers as they have in the past, and our schools are experiencing turnover at high rates. I want to see an Alabama that prioritizes our education system."

There is a crowded Republican gubernatorial primary field that includes: Lindy Blanchard, Lew Burdette, Stacey George, Kay Ivey, Tim James, David Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young. There will also be a Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

Kay Ivey (R) is the incumbent governor.

Blanchard was previously a Senate candidate before switching to the gubernatorial race.

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