State Rep. Phillip Rigsby (R-Monrovia) believes Gov. Kay Ivey has a good goal when it comes to improving education in the Yellowhammer State.
During her inauguration speech, Ivey said she wants Alabama to move into the top 30 of states in the subjects of reading and math before the end of her term.
Tuesday on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” Rigsby reacted to Ivey’s speech and discussed the future of education in Alabama.
“I think it’s a lofty goal to say we’re going to be in the top 30 by the time she’s done in four years,” he said about Ivey, “but I pray that we can get there and have positive steps because Alabama’s going to be better the more we can get our education moving in the right direction.”
Rigsby believes Ivey really wants to make a positive impact for students during her last years in office.
“Being her last term I think she wants to go out on a positive note,” he said. “It was very obvious to me that education was at the top of her priorities, or it seemed to be in her speech. So we’ll see what actually comes to fruition as far as legislation and initiatives.
“I know her most recent executive orders kind of support her vision of education her in Alabama.”
The freshman legislator talked about how he plans to help the governor achieve her goals.
“The first thing I’m going to do is listen and learn,” he said. “I’ve got to get down there and make some relationships and figure out the process and learn what it is exactly we can do to help the governor, help the speaker push their agenda to make things better.”
Rigsby said the Legislature needs to build on some of the improvements to education that have been recently implemented.
“I think we do need to continue to support the Numeracy and Literacy Act, make sure there’s some teeth to that, that’s it’s enforceable,” he said. “I know there’s some school choice issues that are being kind of rumbled around the House there and we’ll have to see how that goes … haven’t seen the details of what that would actually look like, but I think that’s going to be some talking that are going to be going on here during the first couple weeks of the session.”
He also believes the true “key” to educational success is for parents to be more involved.
“I had a great education at an inner city school and public high school because my parents were involved,” he said. “And my parents chose to be a part of my education, and I think that’s the key, that we’ve got to give these parents the ability and the tools that they need to make sure that their kids are given a good education. But I think that the parents have to have a vested interest. I think that they have to know that they’re part of the equation and they’re not just sending their student or their child to a school in hopes that they’ll be raised by the teachers and everything will happen within the school.
“I think the parents have got to have a vested interest. So giving them an opportunity to have a say so in their kids’ education I think is important.”