Governor Kay Ivey has announced a series of executive orders to improve education to start her second full term.
On Wednesday, Ivey signed four executive orders (EO) to address the state’s lackluster education performance.
“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. “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.”
EO 729, titled “Promoting Early Literacy by Establishing a Statewide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Network,” works with a national program to mail books to Alabama kids.
The program provides $4.1 million for the roll-out of the program, which will ensure every Alabamian will begin receiving books by mail each month after they are born until five years of age. An opt-out option is also available.
EO 730 establishes the Commission on Teaching and Learning, which comprises several well-known players in Alabama politics.
The commission’s purpose is to “examine ways to enhance the quality of elementary and secondary education” and produce a report of recommendations by December 1.
The committee will be chaired by Business Education Alliance president and former State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joe Morton. It will also contain State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey, Montgomery City Schools Superintendent Dr. Melvin Brown, Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent Dr. Dicky Barlow, State Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva) and others.
EO 731 will compel the State Superintendent of Education to submit a report on Alabama’s sundry education initiatives.
In recent years, the state has passed a number of education initiatives to address Alabama’s near-last national education ranking.
The 2019 Literacy Act requires students to read at a third-grade level before moving on to the fourth grade. However, the legislature has voted to delay a stipulation that would hold students back who fail to meet the requirements.
The 2022 Numeracy Act allocates millions of dollars to acquire mathematics coaches to teach K-5 teachers how to teach mathematics.
EO 731 requires the superintendent to submit a report by June 30 outlining past progress made to date and future actions needed to implement the initiatives.
EO 732 establishes a registered apprenticeship pilot program to increase pathways for teaching as a profession.
The program will provide an additional pathway for qualifying paraprofessionals and teacher’s aides to obtain a Class A or Class B teaching certificate by demonstrating competency in the classroom. The programs will initially be employed in areas with documented teacher shortages.
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