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Day 14: Senate Committees Continue Literacy Exploration; Vaccine Bill Passes Senate

Joint Senate Committee Continues Examination into Literacy

Members of the Senate Education & Youth and Senate Higher Education committees continued to examine how state agencies and nonprofit organizations foster literacy development. Lawmakers heard from the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), and the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, each of which offer programs fostering literacy development. Members of the joint committee also learned from Dr. Stephen Pruitt of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) how other states have addressed literacy development.

Amy Jacobs, DECAL commissioner, highlighted the agency’s efforts to improve the instructional knowledge and practice of teachers of infants and toddlers in childcare settings through professional development and coaching. She also shared data on the impact of the Pre-K program, noting that children who attend Georgia Pre-K do significantly better on third grade end-of-grade tests than children who do not.

Kristy Kueber and Kathy Matthews from Metro RESA described the Growing Readers Program, a joint effort by GOSA and thetate's 16 Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs). The program’s aim is to improve literacy by providing high-quality, science-based professional learning and support to K-3 teachers. Participating teachers have improved their instructional practices, and their students are demonstrating increase reading achievement.

Ariane Wheldon, director of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, outlined the campaign’s comprehensive approach to fostering literacy development by addressing in-school and out-of-school factors.

Mississippi’s approach to improving literacy was highlighted in Pruitt’s presentation. He noted that Mississippi set a clear goal for literacy improvement, maintained a steady focus across changes in state leadership, carefully monitored progress, and used data to adjust strategies as needed.

The two committees will meet again on Wednesday, Feb. 8, to continue their literacy exploration.

Senate Bill Removes Sunset on Vaccine Prohibition

The Senate passed SB 1 by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), which removes the sunset provision from the law that prohibits public employers, including school districts, from requiring employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Under current law, which passed the General Assembly as SB 345 in 2022, the prohibition ends on June 30, 2023.

Register Now for PAGE Day on Capitol Hill

PAGE Day on Capitol Hill, in conjunction with the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL), and the Georgia Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (GACTE), is coming up soon. Please register now to join us Tuesday, Feb. 21, for this free event. You will learn more about pending education legislation and advocate for educators, students, and public education.

If you previously registered for PAGE Day on Capitol Hill and did not receive a confirmation email from "PAGE Events," please register again at the link above. We discovered a technical issue in our registration system that has been fixed. Contact Josh Stephens at if you need assistance.

Upcoming Schedule

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – Legislative Day 15

Thursday, Feb. 9 – Legislative Day 16

House Education Committee, 1 p.m., 506 CLOB


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