Friday on APTV's "Capitol Journal," Gov. Kay Ivey offered a preview of what to expect in her next term should she be reelected on Tuesday.
According to the incumbent governor, education will take precedence in the next four years, stating it would be "like where we've never gone before."
"[T]he future of our state, our nation and our world depends on the quality of education of our students," she said. "So education is going to be my number one priority of my four years going forward. During my first term, we started laying those foundations, you know, my 'Strong Start, Strong Finish.' We've focused recently on reading and numeracy, reading and math improvements. The legislature, in their wisdom, passed the Alabama Literacy Act and also the Numeracy Act. Those two bills have been very helpful to our people, and we've got to continue focusing on that so we can teach our students to read well by the end of the third grade, then start reading to learn."
"We've got a mission ahead in the next four years – we'll be going some places in education like we've never gone before, from birth to workforce," Ivey continued. "We're going to come out with a very strong package to improve the quality of education that our students are getting, and we'll ensure that our teachers are well-equipped to guide our students to getting the jobs of the future."
Ivey credited aligning the state's assessment system to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standards for its ability to hold its ground while other states lost ground.
She also pledged to use her veto power against any attempts to delay the implementation of the Literacy Act's holdback provision, which requires third graders to read at a third-grade level before being promoted to the fourth grade.
"Let's be clear on that: The legislature passed a good strong literacy bill with the holdback provision in it," Ivey added. "And should that bill for some reason be opened and they submit that bill with the rollback to the retention, that's a bill I will veto. I will veto it strongly because we need to keep our focus strong on being good proficient readers by the end of the third grade."
In 2021, Ivey vetoed the legislature's efforts to delay the requirement. However, a year later, she signed a bill to delay the requirement.
Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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