Governor Ivey urges lawmakers to require students to start at kindergarten instead of first grade

Gov. Ivey urging lawmakers to make kindergarten mandatory
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 6:12 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Gov. Kay Ivey wants children in Alabama to have a strong start to their education.

On Tuesday, the governor called on lawmakers to adopt new laws that would require children to complete kindergarten, instead of skipping to the first grade.

Ivey wants first grade teachers to focus on expanding a child’s education and on preparing students for the second grade, not catching them up to a first-grade level.

“We will no longer accept the existence of failing elementary schools in our state,” Ivey said.

It’s a move Richard Franklin with the American Federation of Teachers agrees with, saying for years that kindergarten is a crucial part of a child’s education.

For the good of the kids, we have to make certain things mandatory, and it helps our society in the long run,” Franklin said.

Franklin went on to say that there are standards for each grade level, and kindergarten provides students with the fundamentals needed for academic success.

“This is the foundation; I’ll just make it simple for people,” Franklin said. “This is the foundation and if you don’t get this foundation, you’re going to be behind, there’s no if, ands or buts about it.”

Franklin believes the governor’s plan to require kindergarten for all Alabama students is a step in the right direction.

Under current education laws, completion of kindergarten is not required to enter the first grade in Alabama.

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