The State Board of Education (SBOE) delayed voting on a dyslexia rule at its September meeting in order to gather more feedback from stakeholders.
Cherie Bonder Dennis was introduced as the 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year and will have a non-voting seat on the board. Dennis is a PAGE member and an ESOL teacher at Hesse K-8 School in Savannah-Chatham Public Schools.
The board's next meeting is in October at its annual retreat. The next regular SBOE meetings will be Nov. 3 and 4.
Rules Committee Delays Approval of Dyslexia Rule
Board members delayed the vote on a a rule that sets forth policies for referring students in grades K-3 to screening for dyslexia at the Rules Committee meeting. The rule is required under SB 48, which passed during the 2019-2020 legislative session. Members of the committee expressed a desire to allow time for more stakeholder feedback on the proposed changes after receiving letters of concern from interested groups. Educator feedback on the proposed rule should be submitted as soon as possible via email to GaDOE Deputy Superintendent for Policy, Flexibility, and External Affairs Tiffany Taylor at email@example.com.
During the public hearing portion of the Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, Sept. 30, a parent representing Decoding Dyslexia encouraged the board to adopt a comprehensive rule as quickly as possible and reminded the board that October is Dyslexia Awareness Month.
Federal Stimulus Expenditure Dashboard is Live
GaDOE has released a dashboard showing expenditures by state and local school districts of education-targeted federal stimulus funds. The department is collaborating with the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education regarding best practices for use of the funds. More information on education funding available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the largest of the three federal pandemic-related stimulus bills, is available from PAGE here. Districts' plan for using ARP funds can be viewed on GaDOE's website here.
Board Approves Posting of Updated Information Technology Career Pathway and Other Rules
The SBOE approved the following items:
The posting of updated courses in the Information Technology (IT) Career Pathway. A full list of updated courses and their descriptions can be found here. The courses are listed on the agenda under the Rules Committee Items (G) and item number four.
The initiation of a rule amendment to the comprehensive health and physical education program plan to include vapor and tobacco product awareness and prevention education in grades K -12 and human trafficking awareness and prevention education in grades 6-12. These changes are required by HB 287, which passed during the 2021 legislative session.
The initiation of a rule amendment to add the Georgia Independent School Association as an accrediting agency for schools in Georgia. This change is required by HB 606, which passed during the 2021 legislative session.
Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin Introduced as Deputy Superintendent of Rural Education and Innovation
Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin, former superintendent of Early County Schools, was introduced to the board in her new position of deputy superintendent of rural education and innovation at GaDOE. The Office of Rural Education and Innovation is newly-formed using federal pandemic-related stimulus funds to provide a cabinet-level representative for the needs of rural Georgia, establish state and community partnerships, and identify funding opportunities within GaDOE to support rural communities.