Improve Childhood Literacy Through Early Learning
Childhood literacy rates in Georgia are alarming. 63% of third grade students are not reading at grade level. 1.7 million adults (1 in 6 Georgians) have low literacy skills.
There is a direct correlation between reading skills and incarceration rates. State expenditures rise as literacy rates fall. Our future as a state hinges on how we address the real challenges that exist in the classroom.
As the father of three girls, businessman Brian Kemp is a longtime advocate for education reform. He ran for the State Senate with a plan to enhance educational outcomes through early learning and will be a governor who tackles childhood literary in his first term.
To boost literacy rates in Georgia, Kemp will:
1. Continue Governor Deal’s Goal to Increase the Number of Quality Rated Childcare Centers
Tackling childhood literacy was a focus of the Deal Administration and First Lady Sandra Deal. As governor, Brian Kemp will support policies and incentives that are currently in place to dramatically grow the number of Quality Rated childcare centers in Georgia. To support Deal’s goal to have all childcare centers rated by 2020, Brian Kemp will continue the incentive program that provides increased Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) funding for qualified facilities.
2. Protect Parent Choice and by Rejecting Efforts to Eliminate Privately Run Pre-K and Childcare Centers
On the campaign trail, Stacey Abrams touts a universal Pre-K proposal that ends parental choice by eliminating privately run Pre-K and childcare centers. Not only does her extreme plan grow government, but it is also an attack on Governor Zell Miller lottery program that generates funding for both public and private options.
As governor, Brian Kemp will allow parents to decide what’s best for their children and will protect funding for Pre-K and childcare facilities – public and private – that are Quality Rated.
3. Reduce the Pre-K Waiting List by Protecting Lottery Funding for Georgia Pre-K Program
To reduce the waiting list for Pre-K and ultimately enhance childhood literacy rates in Georgia, Brian Kemp will protect lottery funding for the Georgia Pre-K program.
Abrams’ education plan includes expanding the HOPE scholarship to include illegal immigrants, which would deplete funding for early childhood learning in Georgia.
Kemp will also safeguard Lottery Reserves to ensure that funding is always in place for HOPE and Pre-K funding – even in a tough economy.
4. Create Literacy Council, Statewide Coordinator for Literacy
As governor, Brian Kemp will tap a Statewide Coordinator for Literacy to oversee the numerous childhood and adult literacy programs that are operating in state government.
In addition to managing various programs, the Statewide Coordinator will partner on the local, county, and state level to provide no-cost solutions to improve literary including but not limited to:
- Professional development for educators
- Use of the Public Library System for after-hours tutoring
- Health screenings (vision) for students
- Partnerships with the private sector
Kemp will also create a Literacy Council with lawmakers, subject matter experts, educators, parents, and private sector leaders to drive progress, synchronize efforts, and track key metrics for public consumption. This council will also work to identify and eliminate
bureaucracy, and redundant regulations for better outcomes.