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NEW! Georgia Legislative News 

Based on the 3/12 & 3/13 note below:

  • The list of screeners would be culled down to 5 approved screeners from those 13 that are already on the list.
  • One of the five is one that will be FREE to schools.
  • The FREE one must be used.
  • The school may elect to use IN ADDITION to the ONE REQUIRED FREE SCREENER any of the additional APPROVED screeners must only use screeners on the approved list.
  • The timeline for everything would 2025, not 2024.

3/12 & 3/13 Development

March 12: Senator Hickman presented an amendment to the House Education Curriculum Subcommittee changing the requirement of a single screener to a list of 5 approved screeners. The Georgia Council on Literacy, the Deal Center, and the Office of Planning and Budget would identify the 5 screeners that meet the criteria. By May 15, 2024 the SBOE would be required to approve a memorandum of agreement between the Georgia Council on Literacy and the Georgia Department of Education for a list of no more than 5 universal reading screeners for use by schools as part of their comprehensive literacy program to meet requirements set forth in HB 538. By June 1, 2024 the GaDOE shall publish on the website the free universal screener that all districts are required to adopt and administer. Click here to listen to the meeting.

HOWEVER, on March 13: The full House Education Committee met to hear  SB 464. Representative Rick Townsend (R-Brunswick) amended the bill to change the date from 2024 to 2025 to provide time to train teachers on the approved screeners. The bill passed and moves to the House Rules Committee. Click here to listen to the committee meeting and click here to review the current version of the bill. 


Update 3/8/2024

Watch the 3/7/2024 Press Conference!

From Claire Buck, GACIS Executive Director:  “On February 29th Senator Billy Hickman presented an amendment to Senator Clint Dixon’s (R-45th) School Supplies for Teachers Program – Senate Bill 464. The amendment removes the requirement for districts to select a universal screener from the approved list of screeners and requires the use of a free single screener for the state. The free screener would not be the screener being developed by DRC. By May 15th, the SBOE would be required to approve a memorandum of agreement between the Georgia Council on Literacy and the Georgia Department of Education for a free universal reading screener for use by schools as part of their comprehensive literacy program to meet requirements set forth in HB 538. By June 2024, the GaDOE shall publish on the website the free universal screener that all districts are required to adopt and administer. The Georgia Council on Literacy, the Deal Center, and the Office of Planning and Budget would identify the screener that meets the criteria established by the SBOE.  Click here and go to timestamp 1:08:45 to listen to Senator Hickman’s amendment, and click here to read the bill. The bill passed the Senate 52-1 at 7:50 p.m. on Thursday night and now goes to the House.”

Visit the DDGA Facebook page: Read the post about SB464, including the comments, for additional information. Note: The 13 screeners on the state’s current list have not been thoroughly vetted.  The amendment calls for a close examination of those screeners to narrow down the state’s list to the one that is the most effective tool and to provide this free, high-quality screener to all districts for use in grades K-3. 

SB464 must pass through three House committees (the Education Subcommittee, the Full Education Committee, and the Rules Committee) before being put to the floor for a vote. DDGA urges you to support SB464.

In November 2023, the Deal Center published an analysis of the 16 screeners that were at that time on the state’s list. Click HERE to read that report.  

GACIS has asked for feedback on SB464. Click HERE. This form includes a place to indicate whether or not you would like to speak at the House Education Committee meeting when SB464 is placed on the agenda.

Contact your House representative and State Board of Education (SBOE) representative with questions, thoughts, and concerns. 

Dr. Lindstrom and Amy Denty emphasized in their January 17 presentation that this guide should be everyone’s go-to guide for updates:  Aligning State Literacy Policies & Practices: Connecting the Georgia Council on Literacy (SB 211), the Georgia Early Literacy Act (HB 538), and Georgia’s Dyslexia Efforts (SB 48)

On January 17, IDA-GA offered a webinar Aligning State Literacy Policies & Practices: Connecting the Georgia Council on Literacy (SB 211), the Georgia Early Literacy Act (HB 538), and Georgia’s Dyslexia Efforts (SB 48). You are encouraged to watch that recording and look at this page for links to all the many resources discussed during that webinar. Be sure to take into consideration now the proposed amendment. 

Gov. Kemps Signs Dyslexia Bill into Law

May 2, 2019 – Click here.

IDA Corrects Inaccuracies in AJC Opinion Column

April 2019 – Response provided by Sonja Banks, Chief Executive Officer, International Dyslexia Association; Jennifer Topple, Chair of the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors; Karen Huppertz, International Dyslexia Association Georgia Branch President Board of Directors

To read, CLICK HERE.

Georgia Senate Committee hopes to help students with Dyslexia

November 26, 2018

Children suffering from a common but often overlooked learning disability may get help from the state in the next legislative session. The Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia plans to recommend that the state allocate a portion of its $25 billion budget to help these students.

The committee was created at the end of the 2018 state Legislature to explore and draw attention to the educational impact of dyslexia on countless children and adults in the state. Research has indicated that early diagnosis is critical.

Read full AJC article by clicking here

Senate Resolution 761 – A First Step

March 28, 2018

By now we hope you have heard the EXCITING NEWS: GA Senate Resolution 761 passed to create a study group for including dyslexia in the state education code! Thanks to each of you for joining IDA in contacting your legislators!

We plan to be part of the effort to form this committee – and we will look to you, our parents and partners, for guidance and support.

Read the resolution here:

Follow us on Facebook and here on our website and follow Decoding Dyslexia at

IDA-GA’s Feedback to GA DOE Regarding Georgia’s Proposed ESSA Plan

July 14, 2017

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation’s new education law, requires states to develop plans that address standards, assessments, school and district accountability, and special help for struggling schools and students.  July 14, 2017, was the last day to provide feedback to the Georgia Department of Education regarding its draft of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). On September 18, 2017, the final State Plan will be submitted, and once approved, this education law will be in effect for some time to come. IDA-GA, Decoding Dyslexia, and shared thoughts on Georgia’s plan and each submitted formal feedback.  IDA-GA submitted the feedback via the survey link provided by the GA DOE, and an email was sent to Governor Nathan Deal and Georgia’s School Superintendent Richard Woods.

The International Dyslexia Association Georgia’s response (7/14/2017):

Read more…

IDA Georgia Successfully Funds Three Separate Training Opportunities for 30 Forsyth County Public School Teachers

July 11, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                           The International Dyslexia Association – Georgia Branch (IDA-GA) has successfully funded three separate training opportunities for 30 Forsyth County Public School teachers this summer. Parents and teachers of the Dyslexia Network of Forsyth initiated the program focused on reading instruction and reached out to IDA-GA for the funding.

The Orton-Gillingham Approach training is focused on understanding dyslexia, characteristics of the dyslexic learner, specific procedures for teaching these students primarily in reading and spelling, and administration of informal assessments.

Taught by the Dyslexia Resource Trust in partnership with The Schenck School, the training is free to teachers. Funds to provide this free training were raised entirely by the volunteer efforts of IDA-GA. Sponsorship and donations come from the organization’s Dyslexia Dash 5K Run/Walk held each year in October during Dyslexia Awareness Month and other fundraising efforts.

These 30-hour training courses attended by both elementary school special education, general classroom, and one learning coach educator provides reading instruction not only essential to struggling readers, but instruction beneficial for all young readers. The Orton-Gillingham Approach meets the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Reading established by the International Dyslexia Association.

According to Colleen Beguiristain and Tina McGinley of the Dyslexia Network of Forsyth, taking 30-70 hours of Orton-Gillingham training is grueling work yet teachers returned each day enthusiastic and excited to learn more.

“They are so appreciative of this opportunity. Many of them have been begging for this kind of training for a long time,” noted Beguiristain. “This training is a great example of what parents and teachers can accomplish together to improve education for all students.”

Teachers receiving this training have already been engaged for feedback and will be followed quarterly to determine how the instruction impacts student performance. They have been given the option for observations and formal feedback to ensure fidelity of the training.

Read full press release here…

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal once again declares October as Dyslexia Awareness Month in Georgia

October 1, 2016

IDA-GA would like to thank Georgia Governor Nathan Deal for once again declaring October as Dyslexia Awareness Month in Georgia!
The proclamation reads:

Whereas: Dyslexia is a learning disability that is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Ten to twenty in every hundred children struggle with dyslexia; and

Whereas: Research shows that a child who finishes second grade without being able to read has only a one in four chance of reading at grade level by the end of elementary school. If a child receives help early, in kindergarten or first grade, that child has a 90-95 percent chance of becoming a fluent reader. If identified early, a learning disability can be treated and the majority of children with learning disabilities will have the opportunity to reach their potential; and

Whereas: Only a limited percentage of society and the academic community are aware of how to access and implement treatment options for dyslexia. Such options can be found through organizations like the International Dyslexia Association; and

Whereas: The most successful treatment for dyslexia depends on its early recognition. Although symptoms of dyslexia are evident as early as Pre-K age, most children who have this learning disability are not diagnosed until much later when treatment is much more difficult and after they have fallen behind their peers academically; and

Whereas: Dyslexia Awareness Month provides an opportunity for families whose lives have been affected by dyslexia to honor dedicated education and health care professionals who address the needs of this disability. This month also affords us an opportunity to share information with the public, parents, teachers and all others about dyslexia; now

Therefore: I, NATHAN DEAL, Governor of the State of Georgia, do hereby proclaim October 2015 as DYSLEXIA AWARENESS MONTH in Georgia and encourage our citizens to increase awareness, education, and services for the recognition and treatment of dyslexia for the thousands of dyslexic children and adults in our state.

In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Executive Department to be affixed this 24th day of September in the year of our Lord thousand fifteen.

IDA-GA is seeking new board members!

September 1, 2016

The International Dyslexia Association-Georgia Branch is currently accepting applications for open Board Member positions. We are seeking enthusiastic participants willing to volunteer their time and energy towards increasing public awareness of dyslexia.

All board members will need to attend a monthly board meeting as well as participate on committees and volunteer/attend our annual conference and Dyslexia Dash. Board membership is a three-year commitment with the option to serve a second term.

If you are interested in submitting an application to become an IDA-GA Board of Director, please click here…

The application must be completed by Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

We look forward to your participation!

IDA Georgia Branch Nominations Committee

IDA Georgia Announces Henry Winkler to Speak on Dyslexia

January 8, 2015

(Atlanta, Georgia, January 8, 2015) – The International Dyslexia Association – Georgia Branch (IDA-GA) will host a unique symposium as part of their annual Dimensions of Dyslexia series featuring actor, director, producer and best-selling author Henry Winkler. The event will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 7, 2015. at Georgia State’s Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.

Winkler, who is dyslexic, gained fame as the Fonz on “Happy Days,” and is known in recent years for recurring roles on Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation and Royal Pains. Henry has new Hank Zipzer books in his series for children, which further chronicle Hank’s adventures. With wisdom and humor, Winkler will discuss his children’s books and his own challenges with dyslexia.

According to Winkler, “I was told I was lazy. I was told I was stupid. But what I learned is that how you learn has nothing to do with how brilliant you are. A learning challenge does not have to stop from meeting your dream. You cannot give in to your fear. If I can live my dream, there is no reason you can’t also.”

Following Mr. Winkler’s discussion, a panel of experts will discuss navigating resources and uncovering strategies for dyslexic students and adults. A book signing will follow at 10:30 a.m.  Tickets for this event are available online at

Georgia mourns the loss of Schenck School founder, David Schenck

December 31, 2014

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Elizabeth Montgomery, December 31, 2014 — David Schenck dedicated his life to improving the lives of children with dyslexia. Schenck and his wife, the late Dorothy Hall, founded the Atlanta-based Schenck School in 1959. Described by his colleagues as a mix between Albert Einstein and Willy Wonka, Schenck was: “A brilliant man, very smart, astute and fun-loving; children gravitated to him,”said Gena Calloway, head of the school.

David Tuttle Schenck died Dec. 23 of a progressive pulmonary disease. He was 93. A memorial service will be held early in 2015, and details will be posted on the school’s website once they are finalized.

In 1952, Schenck applied for teaching positions at The Rectory School in Connecticut. The school was connected to Waya-Awi, a Maine-based summer camp for dyslexic children. There, Schenck was introduced to the Orton-Gillingham language-based, multisensory approach to reading, spelling and writing.

“He had a great deal of empathy for these kids,”said his friend Bob Hill.

In 1958, Schenck obtained a master’s degree in education from Emory University and was a reading specialist at Georgia Military Academy, now called Woodward Academy. He realized tutoring struggling students for 30 minutes a day was not going to, in his own words, “keep them from failing.”

“What he did was, take a teaching approach that was usually done one-on-one and developed a way for it to be taught in a classroom,”said family friend Vicki Ahnrud.

In 1959, Schenck and his wife opened The Reading School with seven students in the basement of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. The school was renamed The Schenck School in 1965. The school moved several times before finding its current home on Mount Paran Road. “He set out to change the education landscape, creating a full-time learning environment where our students are able to reach their full academic potential,”said Calloway. Today, the school has an annual enrollment of 250 students in grades kindergarten through six. “I’ve seen the impact in my family of what a school can do,”said Hill, whose son and grandchildren have gone to the Schenck School. “Having schools like this is what makes Atlanta the kind of city we want it to be,”Hill added. “It enriches the character of the city.”

David is survived by his four children, David H. Schenck of Atlanta; Janet S. Schipper of Virginia; Margaret S. Shamback of Virginia and William H. Schenck of Atlanta; and 11 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the David and Dee Schenck Scholarship Endowed Fund at The Schenck School. The School will host a tribute to David’s life and work. For more about David Schenck and details of the event visit

For the complete Atlanta Journal-Constitution article:

International Dyslexia Association Georgia Branch and REAP Partner to Educate Public School Teachers

July 1, 2014

Partnership increases funding opportunities

ATLANTA, GA – Effective July 1, 2014, The International Dyslexia Association Georgia Branch (IDA-GA) and Reading is Essential for All People (REAP) will enter into a fiscal partnership dedicated to improving reading proficiency through teacher training and enrichment. Utilizing IDA-GA’s existing 501(c)(3) status, the non-profit organization REAP can begin pursuing grants to provide public school teachers with specialized training that reinforces the foundations of reading. These training approaches are helpful for any child, in any classroom, small group, or one-on-one situation, and are especially critical for dyslexic and struggling readers.

During their inaugural class, IDA-GA provided funding for two of the first twelve Decatur Public School teachers to receive eight months of Orton-Gillingham training, a multi-sensory phonologically based program proven to remediate dyslexic children and adults. The program includes 50-100 supervised practicum hours during which teachers work with a struggling student(s) who cannot afford a private tutor. With the new partnership, IDA-GA and REAP plan to expand the program this fall to include training for 45 teachers across the metro Atlanta area.

For information about REAP visit and for IDA-GA call 404-256-1232.

About REAP
REAP (Reading is Essential for All People) is a non-profit organization that provides training for public school teachers to support struggling readers and overall reading proficiency. REAP was founded in 2013 in Decatur, Georgia by husband and wife team, Jen and Jeremy Rhett, along with Carla Stanford, a 1st-grade teacher and literacy specialist. Teachers accepted in REAP’s Orton-Gillingham course commit to an eight-month training program followed by 50-100 hour supervised practicum during which they work with a struggling student(s) who can’t afford a private tutor. Plans are in the works to provide a weeklong Comprehension Institute in 2015 and writing workshops by 2016. REAP teachers use their new skills in the general education and special education classrooms to ensure a strong reading foundation for all students and serve as mentors for other teachers.

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