House Bill 4 and High-Quality Prekindergarten Programs

Word version

August 5, 2015

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT: House Bill 4 and High-Quality Prekindergarten Programs

House Bill (HB) 4 was passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, and signed into law by Governor Abbott on May 28, 2015. HB 4 establishes additional state support for high-quality prekindergarten programs including authorization for a grant program and expansion of early childhood education reporting requirements for all Texas public schools. Grant applications are expected to be posted in spring 2016 and funding made available in summer 2016 for use by districts in implementing high-quality prekindergarten programs in the 2016-2017 school year. Additional funding will be made available in fall 2016 to support 2016-2017 implementation.

In preparation for awarding high-quality prekindergarten grants, TEA must complete the following tasks:

  • Review and update the 2008 Prekindergarten Guidelines
  • Identify model family engagement strategies
  • Establish a list of commissioner approved prekindergarten assessment instruments
  • Determine high-quality prekindergarten teacher qualification requirements
  • Develop additional prekindergarten professional development opportunities
  • Adopt commissioner’s rules for the implementation of the high-quality grant program established in HB 4

This process will include a variety of opportunities in fall 2015 for stakeholders to provide input on the various components listed above. We will provide updates and details regarding opportunities for stakeholder input as additional information becomes available. Please be sure to sign up for the Early Childhood Education listserv at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXTEA/subscriber/new for the most up-to-date information.

HB 4 also adds certain new prekindergarten reporting requirements for all public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. In addition to implementation of the high-quality grant program, the statewide data collection required by HB 4 will begin in the 2016-2017 school year.

For questions regarding this legislation, please contact Howard Morrison, Statewide Coordinator for Early Childhood Education, Curriculum Division, by telephone at (512) 463-9581 or by email at howard.morrison@tea.texas.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Monica Martinez

Associate Commissioner

Standards and Programs