Governor Ivey signs four executive orders and begins second-term reform

MONTGOMERY — Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed four education-focused executive orders and issued a memo to the Department of Early Childhood Education. Governor Ivey has consistently stated that improving educational outcomes for Alabama students is her top priority. The signing of these executive orders is the first of many steps being taken to achieve her goal of placing Alabama in the top 30 states for numeracy by the end of her term.

“I am proud to be enacting these executive orders and believe they will provide an essential foundation for ensuring that every student in Alabama receives a quality education.” said Governor Ivey. “This is the first of many steps I plan to take this new semester to improve Alabama’s national ranking for our students’ reading and math achievement. Our children are our future, and by investing in their education, we are investing in a better Alabama.”

Executive Order No. 729: Promoting early literacy through establishment of a nationwide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Network

  • Gov. Ivey approved $4.1 million to launch the program, which will ensure every Alabamaer receives age-appropriate books in the mail every month from birth until age five.
  • Parents have the right to unregister their children at any time.

Executive Order No. 730: Establishment of the Governor’s Commission on Teaching and Learning

  • The commission, made up of a diverse group of subject matter experts, will review ways to improve the quality of primary and secondary education in Alabama and produce a report with recommendations by December 1, 2023.

The members of the commission include:

  • President of the Business Education Alliance and former State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joe Morton (Chairman)
  • State Superintendent for Education Dr. Eric Mackey
  • State Senator Donnie Chesteen (R-SD29)
  • Alan Baker (R-HD66)
  • Barbara Drummond (D-HD103)
  • City of Montgomery Principal, Dr. Melvin Brown
  • Holtville High School Principal Kyle Futral
  • dr Dicky Barlow, Head of Mountain Brook Schools
  • Booker T. Washington K-8 teacher Reggie White
  • President of the Alabama Parent Teacher Association, Donna McCurry
  • Alabaster City Schools Board 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 in the full implementation of vital education initiatives

  • During Governor Ivey’s tenure, the state of Alabama launched several education-focused initiatives, including the Literacy Act (2019), the Numeracy Act (2022), the Computer Science for Alabama Act (2019), a civics test requirement (2017), and a requirement from the State Board of Education that every high school senior must receive a College and Professional Readiness Indicator (2022).
  • Executive Order No. 731 directs the State Superintendent of Education to submit a report detailing progress made to date and future actions to ensure expeditious implementation of the above initiatives. Reports are due June 30, 2023.

Executive Order No. 732: Established a pilot K-12 teacher-registered education program to improve pathways to the teaching profession

  • This pilot program will provide an additional route, initially in areas with a proven teacher shortage, to qualify paraprofessionals and teaching assistants to earn a Class A or Class B teaching certificate by demonstrating their competency in the classroom.
  • The pilot program is administered by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship within the Department of Commerce.

In addition, Governor Ivey sent a memo to the Secretary of Early Education, Dr. Barbara Cooper directing the department to prioritize the creation of new top-notch pre-K classrooms in counties where more than 20% of the population falls below federal poverty guidelines. Governor Ivey believes that increasing access to Alabama’s state-leading program is critical to achieving our education-based goals.

Executive Order No. 729

Executive Order No. 730

Executive Order No. 731

Executive Order No. 732

ECE memo on Pre-K saturation is attached.