Gov. Ivey signs 4 executive orders on education reform push
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey has started off her second full term by signing four executive orders on education.
The executive orders are a part of Ivey’s promised education reform push. The signing of these executive orders marks the first of many steps that Ivey is said to be taking to achieve her goal of having Alabama ranked in the top thirty states for numeracy and literacy by the end of her term.
“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,” said Ivey. “This is the first of many steps I plan to take in this new term to increase Alabama’s national ranking in our student’s reading and math performance. Our children are our future, and by investing in their education, we are investing in a better Alabama.”
You can read more about each of the initiatives below:
Executive Order No. 729: Promoting Early Literacy by Establishing a Statewide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Network
- Governor Ivey authorized $4.1 million for the roll-out of the program, which will ensure every Alabamian will begin receiving age-appropriate books by mail each month after they are born until five years of age.
- Parents will have the right to opt their children out at any time.
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 December 1, 2023.
Members of the commission include the following:
- Business Education Alliance President and former State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joe Morton (Chair)
- State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey
- State Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-SD29)
- Rep. Alan Baker (R-HD66)
- Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-HD103)
- Montgomery City Schools Superintendent Dr. Melvin Brown
- Holtville High School Principal Kyle Futral
- Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent Dr. Dicky Barlow
- Booker T. Washington K-8 Teacher Reggie White
- Alabama Parent Teacher Association President Donna McCurry
- Alabaster City Schools Schoolboard Member Derek Henderson
- Retired Mississippi State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright
- Co-founder and CEO of Whiteboard Advisors Ben Wallerstein
Executive Order No. 731: Ensuring Progress Toward Full Implementation of Vital Education Initiatives
- During Governor Ivey’s tenure in office, the state of Alabama has launched several education-focused initiatives, such as the Literacy Act (2019), the Numeracy Act (2022), the Computer Science for Alabama Act (2019), a civics-test requirement (2017), and a requirement of the State Board of Education that every high school graduate obtains a college and career readiness indicator (2022).
- Executive Order No. 731 directs the State Superintendent of Education to submit a report outlining past progress made to date as well as future action items to expeditiously ensure the implementation of the aforementioned initiatives. The reports are due June 30, 2023.
Executive Order No. 732: Establishing a K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program to Increase Pathways to the Teaching Profession
- This pilot program will provide an additional pathway—initially, in areas with documented teacher shortages—for qualifying paraprofessionals and teacher’s aides to obtain a Class A or Class B 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.
- Along with the four executive orders, Ivey has also directed the department of education to prioritize creating new first-class Pre-K classrooms in counties where more than 20% of the population falls below the federal poverty guidelines.
- Ivey has asked the ALSDE to have a plan, including a timeline and anticipated budget to achieve the additions by March 31.
Along with the four executive orders, Ivey has also directed the department of education to prioritize creating new first-class Pre-K classrooms in counties where more than 20% of the population falls below the federal poverty guidelines.
Ivey has asked the ALSDE to have a plan, including a timeline and an anticipated budget to achieve the additions by March 31.
Below is a copy of the letter Ivey sent to Dr. Barbara Cooper, secretary of early childhood education:
As you know, the Fiscal Year 2023 Education Trust Fund Budget appropriated some $173.7 million to the Department of Early Childhood Education, Office of School Readiness. In spending these funds, I ask you to prioritize creating new pre-K classrooms in counties where more than 20% of the population falls below the federal poverty guidelines. I also request that you prioritize funding such classrooms in feeder patterns related to our Turnaround Schools Initiative.
The National Institute for Early Education Research has recognized the Alabama First-Class PreK program for fulfilling all quality benchmarks in every year since 2006. When I entered office, the First-Class Pre-K Program consisted of just over 800 classrooms that served 24% of Alabama’s eligible four-year-old children. Five years later, as I start my second full term in office, there are now almost 1,500 First-Class Pre-K Classrooms for the 2022-2023 school year serving 46% of Alabama-eligible four-year-old children. Clearly, I am committed to increasing the concentration of First-Class Pre-K classrooms in Alabama’s most high-need counties. No later than September 30, 2023, counties in Alabama with 20% or more of the population living below the federal poverty guidelines should be targeted for providing full access to all four-year-old children whose families desire to enroll them in the First-Class Pre-K Program. Full access, or “saturation,” should be estimated at levels equal to 70% percent of eligible four-year-old children.
Based on estimates you have provided, approximately 37 classrooms are required to reach saturation in each of the following Alabama counties with 20% or more of the population living above the federal poverty guidelines: Dekalb, Escambia, Pike, Clark, Lowndes, Fayette, Russell, Barbour, Geneva, Monroe, Greene, Bullock, Sumter, Wilcox, Perry, Pickens, Hale, Dallas, and Marengo Counties.
No later than March 31, 2023, please provide to me a plan, including a timeline and anticipated budget, for achieving saturation of First-Class Pre-K classrooms in all counties with 20% or more of the population living below the federal poverty guidelines.
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