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Rep. King, Ken

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King Joint Authors Important Pre-Kindergarten Legislation  print page

by: Rep. King, Ken
02/26/2015

AUSTIN, TX – Today, State Representative Ken King (Canadian) joint authored House Bill 4 (HB 4), filed by State Representative Dan Huberty (Houston). HB 4 encourages Texas public school districts to implement high quality, accountable prekindergarten standards, and to provide additional funding for those districts already operating a program as outlined in the bill. The overall goal of HB 4 is to implement a long term, successful prekindergarten system for all public schools in the state.

“HB 4 will hopefully provide the incentive for school districts to not only choose to invest in early childhood education, but to also ensure that our students are receiving high quality pre-K classes,” said Rep. King. “If we put the emphasis on these children at a younger age we can address possible issues before they begin, and I believe this legislation is a great step in that direction.”

Currently, Texas public school districts receive half-day prekindergarten funding for their eligible population equal to $3,650 per student. HB 4 would allow districts to opt-in and receive up to an additional $1,500 per eligible student, as determined by the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

"With the passage of HB 4, school districts will have the opportunity to measure the success of their existing pre-K programs. Many of them are already operating at or above the standards outlined in this bill and may now be monetarily rewarded by the State," explained Representative Huberty. "It is our hope that this legislation will encourage other districts to raise the standards of their early education programs and help ensure better learning outcomes for all Texas students."

In order for districts to qualify, they must fully align their curriculum with the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines and measure progress to meet the learning outcomes underlined in those guidelines. Prekindergarten teachers must also be appropriately certified in early childhood education as outlined in the current Texas Education Code. Finally, individual districts are required to develop a parental engagement plan to establish and maintain high levels of family involvement in the student's educational career.



Contact:
Megan Quijano
512-463-0736

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