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State Board of Education Meeting Report - February Meeting 2024

The State Board of Education (SBOE) held its monthly meetings on Feb. 21 and 22. The agenda, which can be found HERE, includes links to all items considered by the board.

In recognition of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) month, three students were invited to provide an inspirational message, open the meeting in prayer, and lead the board and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The board also recognized winners of the 2023 Cybersecurity Poster Contest.

The board upheld the decision of the Cobb County Board of Education to fire a teacher who read a book to students that was reported as inappropriate by some parents of students in the teacher's classroom.

The SBOE also approved removal of three previously approved literacy screeners due to low ratings by the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center. Additionally, the board approved the second round of high quality instructional materials to meet requirements of HB 538, the Georgia Early Literacy Act.

State Board Upholds Local Board's Decision to Fire Teacher

The SBOE unanimously upheld the decision of the Cobb County Board of Education to terminate Katie Rinderle, an elementary school teacher in the district who was fired after parents complained she read an inappropriate book to students in her classroom. In 2022, the Georgia General Assembly passed HB 1178, the "Parents' Bill of Rights," which created a formal complaint process for parents who feel certain school materials are inappropriate.

The board did not discuss the decision, which is standard practice for personnel appeals. Discussion occurred in the board's executive session Wednesday.

Click HERE to review the appeal.

Literacy Update

During the Rules Committee meeting Wednesday, Georgia Literacy Director Amy Denty updated board members on the progress of Georgia's efforts to overhaul literacy instruction as directed by HB 538.

Highlighted slides are included below. To view the full presentation, click HERE.

The following day, after robust discussion, the SBOE approved removal of three of the universal screeners previously approved by the board. The decision is based on the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center's review of approved screeners, which labeled the three removed screeners as "Weak." The removed screeners include:

  • EasyCBM

  • Battelle Early Academic Survey

  • MindPlay

SBOE member Mike Royal voted against the motion, stating he would prefer universal screeners rated as either "Moderate" or "Weak" be removed. Many districts use the screeners included in the "Moderate" category.

Board members also expressed concern that the free universal screener being developed by Data Recognition Company (DRC) will not be ready when districts will need it for the 2024-2025 school year. Board members encouraged GaDOE to request DRC expedite creation of the screener, if possible.

Click HERE to review the Deal Center's report on the screeners.

In addition to removing the three screeners, the board approved the second list of high-quality instructional materials required in HB 538. The report reviewing these materials can be found HERE.

Course and Standards Approvals

The board approved amendments to the K-12 Standards for Health Education to incorporate instruction in the lifesaving potential of organ and tissue donation and information on the statewide organ donor registry system.

The board approved posting new course standards for the following K-5 Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) courses:

Next SBOE Meeting

The next board meetings will be held March 27 and 28. March 28 is also Sine Die, the 40th and final day of the 2024 legislative session.


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