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Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council

About the Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council

Governor Tina Kotek established the Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council through Executive Order 23-12 in May 2023. The Council was created to strengthen the preparation of teachers and school administrators to instruct elementary students on reading and writing. The Council is tasked with developing recommendations for the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), including their rules for approving elementary educator preparation programs that operate in Oregon and licensing requirements for elementary educators. The final recommendations from the Council are due in June 2024.

This executive order is part of a comprehensive effort to improve the preparation and supports available to teachers and school leaders around students’ literacy instruction, starting with elementary grades. In addition to the order, Governor Kotek worked with the Legislature to pass House Bill 3198 (2023). This bill, known as the Early Literacy Success Initiative, creates $90 million of resources to be distributed across every school district in the state to strengthen preparation and support for current teachers and school leaders. The initiative also created $20 million for resources to support parents and families with literacy development before their children begin preschool or kindergarten, which extensive research has shown is the most formative years of children’s brain development.

The Council has 20 members, including teachers, principals, representatives from educator preparation programs, early literacy experts, an indigenous language expert, and a bipartisan group of legislators from the Oregon House and Senate. The Council is co-chaired by Ronda Fritz (Eastern Oregon University) and Susan Gardner (Oregon State University).

Council Members

Governor Kotek or her designee

Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook)
Senators (appointed by Senate President Rob Wagner)

Ben Bowman (D-Tigard) and Boomer Wright (R-Coos Bay)
Representatives (appointed by House Speaker Dan Rayfield)

Ronda Fritz (Eastern Oregon University) and Susan Gardner (Oregon State University)
Public Educator Preparation Program Representatives

Katie Danielson (University of Portland)
Private Educator Preparation Program Representative

Julie Esparza Brown (Portland State University), Anita Archer, and Mikkaka Overstreet (Education Northwest)
Early Literacy Experts

Shahnaz Sahnow (Literacy Specialist - Corvallis School District) and Julie Ragan (Lebanon School District)
Licensed Teacher Representatives

Heidi Brown (Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District)
Elementary Principal Small District Representative

Jennifer Whitten (Beaverton School District)
Elementary Principal Large District Representative

Valerie Switzler (Confederated Tribe of Warm Springs)
Tribal Representative

Melissa Goff
Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) Interim Director

Ben Cannon
Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Director

Dr. Charlene Williams
Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Director

Sara Spencer
Educator Advancement Council (EAC) Interim Director

Council Meetings

The Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council will hold meetings at least once per month. Council members will attend virtually. Per public meeting law, members of the public may stream meetings live or view them retroactively following the link below.

If you would like to receive upcoming meeting notifications, please reach out to   

Final Council Recommendation

The Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council created these recommendations as an advisory body to the Governor and the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) regarding educator and school administrator preparation program standards for the literacy instruction in grades kindergarten through five in a manner that aligns with the Oregon Early Literacy Framework. This two-page document provides an overview of the recommendations. These recommendations were voted on and approved by the Council at their meeting on June 17, 2024.

Meeting Materials

June 17, 2024 Agenda

June 7, 2024 Work Session Agenda

May 20, 2024 Agenda

May 10, 2024 Work Session Agenda

April 22, 2024 Agenda

March 25, 2024 Work Session Agenda

March 18, 2024 Agenda

February 26, 2024 Work Session Agenda

January 22, 2024 Agenda

December 15, 2023 Agenda

December 1, 2023 Information Session Agenda

November 20, 2023 - Council Work Groups Meeting

  • Work group time is for working only; no Council decisions will be made in these work groups. If you would like to observe a Council work group, please reach out to

November 15, 2023 Agenda

October 30, 2023 Agenda

October 18, 2023 Agenda

September 25, 2023 Agenda

September 21, 2023 Information Session Agenda

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