Atlanta, GA – GeorgiaCAN is delighted to announce the approval of two bills aimed at enhancing literacy in Georgia. The bills, HB 538 and SB 211, reflect a strong, bipartisan commitment to improving literacy and ensuring that reading is based on evidence-based instruction.
Authored by Rep. Bethany Ballard, HB 538, the Georgia Early Literacy Act, guarantees that students in grades K-3 have access to high-quality instructional materials aligned with the science of reading. It supports educators with professional development on the science of reading, requires that teacher certification assessments align with evidence-based literacy instruction appropriate to a student’s development, and provides for early grade reading screenings to identify students falling behind to offer additional support.
SB 211, authored by Senator Billy Hickman, establishes the Georgia Council on Literacy to continue to investigate, guide, and recommend further improvements in reading instruction.
“Taken together, these two bills represent a significant step forward in improving literacy rates in our state,” said Michael O’Sullivan, Executive Director of GeorgiaCAN. “We’ve witnessed reading growth in states across the country that have embraced the science of reading and supported their educators in learning new skills and curriculum. With the passage of HB 538 and SB 211, Georgia is poised to see similar reading growth from students in the early grades.”
The science of reading is an approach to teaching reading through structured literacy based on decades of research and evidence. Structured literacy gained support nationwide last year following the release of the chart-topping podcast “Sold a Story.”
GeorgiaCAN is a nonprofit organization advocating for high-quality education for all Georgia students.