Op-Ed: Education- how do we get to number 1?

Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview (Cullman Tribune file photo)

This question has numerous answers, but I would like to hear your answer or answers.

I firmly believe education is important to our future. The very first economic development project during my time as mayor of my hometown was to recruit a high-quality preschool, Early Years Preschool.

Education continues to be a high priority in my current public service role as a legislator.

Alabama’s Pre-K programs consistently lead in national rankings led by Jeana Ross, Governor Ivey’s secretary of Early Childhood Education, a cabinet-level position.

We can be very proud of that, but we have to figure out the rest of the education puzzle.

Public education does well in my legislative district. That’s not the case statewide. We have to find a way to help those areas of the state not doing well, those who bring us down in national rankings as a state.

Unfortunately, our state ranks at or near the bottom in categories other than Pre-K, such as ranking last in math and 49th in reading.

Let me make it clear, this writing is not intended as criticism. We’re all in this together. This writing is asking what we as a state can do to turn it around- move from the bottom to the top?

Every person in this state has a vested interest in seeing our public education system do well.

Whether you have a student in school or not. If you are a business or employee, student or senior citizen, a successful public education system is important to all of us. It’s important to our economy.

We need to have this discussion!

Public education is crucial to the future of individuals in our state and crucial to the success of our state as a whole.

Public education has a lot of challenges and competition today.

The state education budget is often targeted for what many believe are non-education functions.

Charter schools, private schools, home-school, virtual schools and for-profit schools are options for parents today.

Public education has to continually strategize to attract students and parents who are considering the competition.

So, how do we as a state help public education be the best and most viable option for students and parents?

How do we as a community, a school system, a state get to number one?

I want to hear your answers, and I will voice those answers in Montgomery during the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session.

Thank y’all for letting me represent you in Montgomery!

Randall Shedd
1461 Welcome Road
Cullman, AL 35058
Cellular & Text 256.531.6641
Email randallshedd@icloud.com