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Pre-K in Texas Janice Esau Texas Association of School Boards.

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Presentation on theme: "Pre-K in Texas Janice Esau Texas Association of School Boards."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pre-K in Texas Janice Esau Texas Association of School Boards

2 Pre-K Eligibility in Texas Public Schools Limited English Language Learners Educationally Disadvantaged (eligible for free and reduced lunch program) Homeless The child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who was injured or killed during active duty. Includes uniformed service members Missing in Action (MIA)

3 Integration of Pre-K Efforts State Center for Early Childhood Education – (SB 76, 2003) Texas Early Education Model (TEEM) Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC) 2004 launches The Texas Plan, a collaboratively developed ten-year public policy vision to enhance early childhood education and development 2006 Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A & M University conducted conservative cost- benefit analysis of quality Pre-Kindergarten. Result - 3 ½ to 1: Invest in Texas

4 80 th Legislature – Senate Bill 113 According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), a foster child qualifies for Pre-K services because the child is homeless as defined by NCLB If adopted before enrolling in Pre-K or adopted during the school year and moves to a different school, the child may no longer qualify unless they meet other eligibility requirements Would allow children in foster care and other residential facilities to remain eligible for Pre-K services without interruption regardless of a change in the child’s status

5 80 th Legislature – Senate Bill 50 Increase reimbursement rates paid to child care providers participating in voluntary quality improvement programs; Improve the recruitment, retention, and quality of early childhood education professionals, while establishing the field as a multi-level career path; and Expand and Improve Voluntary Pre-K Services –Expand funding for integrated delivery partnerships with Independent School Districts, Head Start providers and community-based child care centers

6 Senate Bill 50, cont. –School Readiness Certification System Measures classroom environmental factors, program quality and child outcome data from Kindergarten assessments SRCS participants eligible for additional funding to 1) Create a Pre-K program; 2) Expand a Pre-K program to serve 3 year olds; 3) Increase income eligibility levels for Pre-K; 4) Increase half-day Pre-K to full-day Pre-K; or 5) Add a teacher’s aid to existing Pre-K classes to reduce staff-to-child ratios

7 TASB Pre-K Survey Online survey facilitated March 2007 Volunteer Survey Panel invited to participate 360 Panelists 130 School Superintendents 230 School Board Members 247 Survey Respondents (68.5%)

8 TASB Pre-K Survey Results 82% of survey respondents offer Pre-K now 60% Pre-K only for children meeting eligibility requirements 4% Pre-K open to any child 3 or 4 years old 34% Pre-K open to any child 4 years old 2% Don’t know which age groups are served

9 TASB Pre-K Survey Results, cont. Delivery Systems for Pre-K 66% School District only provides Pre-K 6% Head Start only provides Pre-K 28% Diverse delivery system – School District, Head Start and Community-based child care programs

10 TASB Pre-K Survey Results, cont. Is Pre-K beneficial? 90% Yes Greatest benefits of Pre-K? Accelerates children’s development and boosts “school readiness” Reduces achievement gap between social economic groups Helps boost individual student achievement (overall) Reduces retention rates in grade school Saves money by decreasing remediation and special education costs Reduces overall number of children in special education classes

11 TASB Pre-K Survey Results, cont. Main challenges faced by Texas School Districts regarding Pre-K: Adequate Funding Limited Resources Finding/Hiring Qualified Teachers Lack of clear standards and expectations for school readiness Coordination and collaboration with community-based child care providers Most important factors that determine “quality” Pre-K: Highly trained teachers and staff Developmentally appropriate curriculum Small class/group size and parent involvement (tie) Low staff-to-child ratios

12 TASB Pre-K Survey Results, cont. How can TASB best support school districts on this issue? Provide research and information about early learning standards and curriculum Provide information about the potential benefits and costs of Pre-K to local school districts Provide case studies of school districts that have implemented Pre-K programs Train district leaders on ways to implement effective Pre-K programs

13 Opportunities to Educate Pre-K Forum (March 2007) Texas Lone Star magazine article summarizing benefits of quality Pre-K (April 2007) Summer Leadership Institute (June 2007) TASB/TASA Annual Convention (Sept. 2007)

14 References Texas Legislature Online Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC) State Center for Early Childhood Education

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