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Yarbrough named to commission
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Gov. Nathan Deal has named 33 state education experts, including columnist Dick Yarbrough, to the state Education Reform Commission.

Deal announced the appointments during his Jan. 14 State of the State address.

The commission will study the state education system and its funding, and it will provide feedback based on its findings.

Priorities for the commission are to increase access to early learning programs, recruit and retain high-quality instructors and expand educational opportunities for Georgia families.

"My vision for K-12 education in Georgia is a system driven by student need that provides local school and district leaders with real control and flexibility," Deal said.

"With this commission now in place, it is my hope that we will work together to make education more accessible and effective in preparing our state's students for the rigors of college and the workforce. Georgia families depend on our classrooms, and now it's time we take the responsibility in full to provide the high-quality, technologically advanced education they so deserve."

Deal thanked the 33 commission members for their willingness to serve. They will meet throughout the year to review the Quality Basic Education Act funding and the system as a whole. Recommendations must be made to the governor by Aug. 1.

Yarbrough, who is also a retired BellSouth Corp. executive and managing director of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, as well as a resident of Big Canoe, join other superintendents, educators, legislators and business leaders who make up the commission.