Tag: Texas Education Agency

HB4 impact in Central Texas and how you can help advocate for quality Pre-K

As the 2017 Texas Legislature is about to begin, UWATX is focusing efforts on advocating on behalf of children and their families. Pre-K has been an important issue area during past legislative sessions, and is poised to be an important issue area during this session. During the 2015 legislative session, the 84th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 4 (HB4) as part of Governor Greg Abbotts’ emergency early education initiative. Over the last 6 months, United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX), in conjunction with Texans Care for Children and Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, has worked to better understand Central Texas school districts’ interest in and experience with the State’s new HB 4 High Quality Pre-K grant by looking into the level and scope of district demand, the application process, the opportunities HB 4 funds bring to local Pre-K quality improvement efforts, implementation challenges, and policy opportunities for the State to strengthen support for local Pre-K priorities. The bill aimed to implement high-quality education standards for Texas Pre-K students by establishing a grant funding program of $118 million for the 2016-2017 State fiscal biennium. Under the program, funds were awarded to eligible school districts and open-enrollment charter schools who applied and agreed to meet certain enhanced quality standards. These include: curriculum requirements based on updated Pre-K guidelines; implementation of a progress monitoring tool; additional teacher education requirements; the implementation of a family engagement plan to encourage and maintain family involvement; and working towards teacher-to-student ratios of 1-to-11. HB 4 also requires […]

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