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Alabama BOE member Tracie West: Overhaul textbook selection process to prevent social engineering, ensure compliance with Alabama Literacy Act

During its recent monthly work session, the Alabama State Board of Education (BOE) discussed potential changes to the state’s textbook law.

Two bills have been filed in the state legislature that could be considered during the current regular legislative session.

State Rep. Danny Garrett’s (R-Trussville) House Bill 336 and State Sen. Tim Melson’s (R-Florence) Senate Bill 15 have been introduced with the intention of reforming the state textbook committee’s process in recommending textbooks for local school systems.

According to a release, the bills would overhaul the state’s textbook review process by allowing for better vetting of textbook materials and updating the law to align with the Alabama Literacy Act.

During the work session, BOE member Tracie West endorsed the lawmakers’ proposed changes. According to West, changes are needed to ensure state standards are being met and that students are not exposed to social engineering content.

West, who assisted in last year’s successful effort to prohibit Critical Race Theory from being taught in public schools, suggested that reform was necessary to ensure student success.

“I believe that the next step in improving education in Alabama is improving our state textbook law. Corrections must be made immediately in order to protect our students and Alabama classrooms,” advised West. “Reading proficiently is the gateway for all children to have success in school and Kindergarten through third grade materials are the highest priority as we uphold the Alabama Literacy Act.”

West expressed gratitude for Melson and Garrett for their legislative work in addressing the issue.

She concluded, “I would like to thank Senator Melson and Representative Garrett for their leadership in helping to address the needed changes in the textbook adoption process. This alignment of the state textbook law with the Alabama Literacy Act will offer more support for local schools districts, which is a priority of the state board of education.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL