NCSL Fellows Program Places Rep. Katie Dempsey on Cutting Edge of Early Learning Policies

ATLANTA – State Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) has been selected as one of only 34 state legislators and legislative staff from 27 states as an Early Learning Fellow by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Now in its second year, the program exposes fellows to the latest research and state policy ideas during a yearlong series of webinars and meetings on how best to make sure young children get a positive start in life.

“I am honored to be selected as a fellow and grateful for this time to focus on ideas and solutions related to early learning with evidenced based research, policy experts and legislative leaders,” said Rep. Dempsey. “This first meeting has been inspirational and strengthened my commitment to help Georgia’s children and families thrive and succeed.”

“The NCSL Early Learning Fellows Program provides opportunities to learn about cutting-edge research and best practices in early childhood education from experts in academia and public school districts,” said New Hampshire state Representative Mary Gile, last year’s fellow. “Meetings and webinars offered stimulating, inspiring and affirming information from both theoretical and practical perspectives. I especially appreciated meeting and working with legislative colleagues from across the nation.”

The fellows were nominated by state leadership and selected based on their interest and commitment to a wide range of education, health, human services, state budget and other issues as they relate to early learning. In addition to exploring new research and policy ideas, lawmakers and staff will learn and strategize about federal initiatives, including the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge and the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting grants. This year’s efforts will build on the accomplishments made during last year’s inaugural program by giving fellows the latest informational tools on brain research, economic evaluation findings and evidence-based programs.

“There has been a great deal of research and interest in early learning in recent years, so the timing is ideal for NCSL to facilitate a program that brings the top stakeholders together for the benefit of our members,” said Bill Pound, executive director of NCSL.

The 2013-2014 Early Learning Fellows program kicked off May 1 and 2 during NCSL’s Spring Forum in Denver. A final meeting focusing on best practices and the latest science will be held Dec. 6 and 7 in Washington, D.C. Program expenses are covered by a grant from the Alliance for Early Success (formerly Birth to Five Policy Alliance). For more information, please visit

Representative Katie Dempsey represents the citizens of District 13, which includes portions of Floyd County. She was elected into the House of Representatives in 2006, and currently serves as the Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Resources. She also serves as a member of the Rules; Economic Development and Tourism; Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications; Health and Human Services; and Higher Education committees.