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Georgia's New Childhood Education Bill

Perdue's overhaul to early childhood education, which put pre-k and day care under the same department called "Bright From the Start", did pass in the General Assembly, but not before a few changes were made by lawmakers.

Shelia Bullington, pre-k director, Thomas County, says, "The new name will be the Department of Early Care and Learning. The Senate bill has created a oversight committee that will help watch what's going on as the two agencies combine."

Gov. Perdue wants to combine oversight of pre-k and day cares to save the state money by not duplicating services to the kids. Also, to require day care to focus more on academics for its children, to better prepare the kids for school.

Staff at Brightstar Learning Center say they already have an academic program for their kids under the Diane Finley Right to Read Curriculum. They say if the state wants to require new criteria they need to provide additional help to do so.

Monica Austin, director of Brightstar Learning Center, says, "I just feel they should allot a certain amount of money to help with supplies and help us make sure we are over prepared for it as they do in pre-k."

Bullington hopes the bill will streamline the early childhood education process for the best interest of the children. Gov. Perdue did not object to the changes voted on in the General Assembly. The bill is on the way to his deck to be signed.


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