Governor welcomes teachers

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Educators have a voice in Montgomery and a seat at the table, Gov. Kay Ivey told Covington County Schools teachers gathered at the central office for inservice on Tuesday.

Ivey said that as long as she’s governor, that’s what teachers can expect.

Ivey, a former educator, said that some of the most influential people in a student’s life are the smiling face when a child gets on the school bus, the smiling face in the lunch line, and a child’s teachers and coaches.

“I am thankful you all serve,” she said. “Thank you for all your tireless efforts.”

Ivey called education the heartbeat of the state.

She said that she wanted educators to have the supplies they need.

Ivey recently unveiled her “Strong Start, Strong Finish,” initiative.

It focuses on three stages of education: early childhood education; computer science in middle school and high school and workforce preparedness.

Ivey said the goal of Strong Start, Strong Finish is to provide a comprehensive approach to collaboration that improves education from Pre-K to the workforce.

Ivey said through Strong Start, Strong Finish she wants to bring all the stakeholders to the table.

Ivey talked about the importance of third grade reading.

“Third grade reading proficiency is used to determine how many beds we need in our prison system,” she said.

Ivey said the initiative will also bring computer science opportunities to middle school and high schoolers.

Ivey said students will learn coding, computer programming and software design in middle school and high school. The program is called CS for AL.

“Today in Alabama, there are 4,700 available jobs with a $82,000 average salary in computer science,” she said.

Ivey said the goal is for students to train early in computer science.

“We need to encourage our students to take it, especially female students,” she said.

The third phase is advance training, better jobs.

The goal is to prepare for jobs today for jobs tomorrow.

Ivey said that by 2020, 62 percent of jobs available in Alabama will require some form of postsecondary education – either a degree or certification.

“Today, only 37 percent of our workforce meets those criteria,” she said.