Public education in Texas is more important than ever, and TAB is a vocal proponent of quality education across the state. To that end, TAB supports full-day quality Pre-K programs for all school districts for currently eligible students. An investment in Pre-K will pay dividends for the state decades into the future.
Currently, children living below the poverty line, children in the foster care system and the children of military families are all eligible for public Pre-K. These are the children who need the most help.
Long-term studies of children who attended a quality Pre-K program show they are more likely to stay in school, graduate from high school and attend college. They also make more money over their lifetime and are less likely to be unemployed or end up in prison later in life.
Last session, the Texas Legislature took an important step by implementing half-day Pre-K for eligible students with House Bill 4. Since the passage of this legislation, we have seen increased scores on math and reading standardized tests by students who have attended Pre-K. We also have seen reductions in the likelihood these children will need special education services in future grades and reductions in the chance that these children will be retained in future grades because of failure.
Pre-K should be considered an investment in our children and in the viability of our future workforce. It is time for our state leaders to expand Pre-K education in Texas and fund full-day Pre-K for those who qualify.
Read Bill Hammond’s Op-Ed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram here.
Texas School Ready!
The best example of a high-quality early childhood education program is the Texas School Ready project, a comprehensive preschool teacher training program administered by the State Center for Early Childhood Development at the Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth.
The Texas School Ready project is a quality improvement system for early education programs in Texas. It is a data-driven, comprehensive professional development and child progress monitoring program aimed at increasing school readiness skills in at-risk students. The goal of this program is to help children be better prepared for school.
Learn more at www.texasschoolready.org.