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Ivey signs “first grade readiness” bill into law

Students entering first grade without completing kindergarten will take the assessment to determine whether they need educational intervention.

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While kindergarten isn’t yet mandatory in the State of Alabama, students entering first grade will now have to take an assessment to determine whether they’re ready, and if not, receive educational intervention.

“The First Grade Readiness bill is a strategic and thoughtful approach to early education in Alabama,” said Gov. Kay Ivey, who signed the bill into law last week. “This is common sense legislation—no child should start behind. By taking proactive steps now to lay a strong foundation from the very beginning, we will not be forced to make reactive moves later. Our children deserve no less than our best efforts right from the start.”

Ivey has long made early childhood education a priority of her platform to raise Alabama’s profile in the education arena, including the nationally acclaimed First Class  Pre-K program.

The bill has had bipartisan support, with State Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, sponsoring the bill.

“I applaud Gov. Ivey for supporting and signing HB113,” Warren said. “After years of work on this subject, I was determined not to give up on our kids. This new law will ensure students are truly prepared to enter first grade. I am confident this will strengthen our education system and prevent future retention among our younger students.”

Students who have completed kindergarten will not be required to take the assessment, which will begin in the 2025-2026 school year.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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