Tuition-supported and district-financed prekindergarten

Word Version

June 16, 2014

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED

Subject: Tuition-supported and district-financed prekindergarten

This letter is to notify districts of information relating to three-year-old students in tuition-supported and district-financed prekindergarten programs.

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.1531, allows a school district to offer a prekindergarten program on a tuition basis or use other funds to provide half-day and full-day prekindergarten classes to children not eligible for classes under TEC, §29.153, Free Prekindergarten for Certain Children. Districts must ensure that serving students who are not eligible for the program does not interfere with serving four-year-old students who are eligible for the program.

For example, if a district operates a prekindergarten program for four year olds, but not a program for three year olds, the district may offer tuition-based services in any of the following circumstances:
•    To ineligible four-year-old students after all eligible four-year-old students have been offered services
•    To eligible four-year-old students for an additional one-half day of service
•    To any three-year-old student

This change will be reflected in the 2014 prekindergarten frequently asked questions document along with additional examples.

Additionally, if a district charges tuition as permitted by TEC, §29.1531, the tuition may not be higher than is necessary to cover the added costs of providing the additional prekindergarten classes, including any costs associated with data collection and reporting requirements, and the district must submit the proposed tuition rate to the commissioner for approval annually. For more information regarding tuition rates, please visit the Prekindergarten Tuition webpage.

If you have additional questions about the requirements of TEC, §29.1531, please contact Howard Morrison by telephone at (512) 463-9581 or by email at howard.morrison@tea.texas.gov.  

Sincerely,


Monica Martinez
Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs