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Alabama senator 'embarrassed' with state's education ranking

State lawmakers are pushing for major reform in public school education in the incoming legislative session.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 5:11 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2020 5:45 PM

With Alabama’s education ranking slipping lower and lower, some state lawmakers are pushing for major reform in public school education.

On Friday in Huntsville, three of them talked about how important it is to fix Alabama's failing school system, literacy rates, and school ranking during next month’s legislative session.

"How embarrassed we are as legislators with our state's ranking in the national ranking," said Arthur Orr, an Alabama Senator from Decatur.

"Our system is just not where it should be. We were 52 on the ADEF scores. I thought to myself when it came out in the papers, how did we get to be that with a nation with 50 states?," said Mac McCutcheon, the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives.

A big focus for Alabama lawmakers in the 2020 legislative session is working on Alabama's failing education system.

A parent with three children in public school told us he's disappointed, too.

"The way the system is and the way they're teaching the kids now ... It's not like it was when I was in school," says Mitchell Brown, who lives in Huntsville.

State lawmakers announced that there will be $1 billion more in funding for schools this year. Here's how they plan on using that increased funding.

"Pay raise for teachers being discussed also mental health funding for more counselors in the schools. Also looking at coaches for reading," says Orr.

Lawmakers passed a literacy bill last year requiring all third-grade students to read at grade level, or be held back.

"I make sure my kids read. I ask them questions about comprehension. It's big to me. The only thing I can ask at this point is to make it better. Make it better because like I said at the end of the day, our kids are our future," says Brown.

State lawmakers said they plan on working to improve areas of math and science and adding qualified teachers in these subjects.

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