Governor introduces plan to improve early reading achievement

By PAUL DeMARCO | Guest Columnist

Note: This is an opinion column.

Unfortunately, Alabama has ranked near the bottom of the nation when it comes to reading proficiency for state students.

Now Gov. Kay Ivey is trying to address the problem with a new plan and recommendations. Ivey is not the first governor to try to tackle this chronic problem in the state.

Now the governor has a new initiative underway to improve early literacy learning beginning with pre-k through third grade for students.

The recommendations are to focus on each of the 67 counties with grassroot support from community leaders to address academic achievement to improve reading skills.

The plan has been two years in the making by a 100-member committee tasked with breaking from the state’s past struggles with educating children to read from an early age.

Funding to provide resources and training for those that teach these early learners has been dramatically increased in the current education budgets.

The state has been recognized nationally for its efforts through the Alabama First Class Pre-K Program, which has already benefited students all over the state.

Hopefully with both the new initiative and funding in place, Alabama students will have the opportunity to learn at a pace that exceeds the national standards.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.