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Texas Matters: Pre-K For Texas

Ryan Loyd
TPR News
Pre-K 4 SA and other existing Pre-K programs in Texas stand to gain from the legislature's proposal.

When Governor Greg Abbott gave his first State of the State Address to the Texas Legislature on February 17 he told the lawmakers that education is his top concern – particularly early education with Pre-K.

“To begin the process of improving our schools and advancing our students, we must improve early education. That’s why I am declaring early education as my first emergency item as governor.”   

And on Thursday bi-partisan legislation was filed to begin implementing that vision.

House Bill 4 and Senate Bill 801 would would distribute $100 million worth of grants — up to $1,500 per student — to help school districts and charters bolster their preschool-related offerings as long as they can prove they are meeting state standards regarding teacher certification, curriculum and “parental engagement” and agree to be reviewed by the Texas Education Agency.

Early childhood education advocates greeted this proposal with dampened enthusiasm saying this plan doesn’t go far enough. David Anthony is the CEO of Raise Your Hand Texas.