Early Childhood Education FAQs
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House Bill 3 Updates
1. What are the Pre-K requirements under House Bill 3? Is Pre-K funded for full day or half-day?
In addition to other requirements addressed in a recent To the Administrator Addressed Letter, House Bill 3 provides for full day Pre-K for all eligible 4 year-old children.
Pre-K still only receives a half-day average daily attendance for Foundation School Program funding. However, House Bill 3 enacted the Early Education Allotment which provides weighted funding for each student at the district in Kindergarten through third grade that also qualifies for the compensatory education or bilingual allotment.
2. Is the full-day prekindergarten program effective this year or in a later school year?
The full-day prekindergarten program requirement for eligible four-year-olds will be effective September 1, 2019 with implementation in the 2019-2020 school year.
3. Does the full-day prekindergarten program requirement apply to all prekindergarten students?
No. The full-day prekindergarten program requirement applies to eligible four-year-olds.
4. May a district request a waiver to either partially, or fully exempt them from providing a full-day prekindergarten to eligible four-year-olds?
Yes. A district may request an exemption for up to three years, which may only be renewed once. All districts that are unable to meet the full-day requirement for all eligible 4-year-old students by September 1, 2019 must submit an exemption request.
5. If a district elects to request a waiver, when and through what process will that be available?
An exemption may be applied for through the State Waiver Unit. The prekindergarten exemption for full-day prekindergarten will be available in January.
6. How does full-day prekindergarten for eligible four-year-olds impact year-round schools?
Year-round schools would be subject to the same full-day prekindergarten for eligible four-year-olds requirements and exemption process.
7. If a district begins offering a full-day prekindergarten for eligible four-year-olds and begins to see an influx of eligible four-year-olds wanting to enroll mid-year, is the district still required to serve all eligible four-year-olds?
Yes. The district would be required to serve all eligible four-year-olds. However, a district may request a full-day exemption if fewer eligible students would be served (typically due to physical capacity or personnel constraints).
8. If a district is providing full-day funding for eligible four-year-olds, are the minutes of operations for a full-day prekindergarten program 75,600?
Yes, if a district is providing a full-day prekindergarten program for eligible four-year-olds, the district would provide 75,600 operational minutes. This total may include recess, meals, intermission and rest time.
9. How is the full-day prekindergarten for eligible four-year-olds funded?
Districts will receive FSP funding for the first half of the day, as was the case before HB 3. As was also the case before HB 3, districts can devote other sources of funding (for example: compensatory education, Title I, or funding from tier II). With HB 3, districts will also receive the early education allotment, which may also be used to fund the second half of the day. Other increased funding from HB 3 may also be relevant.
10. Are districts required to use the early education allotment towards full-day prekindergarten? If a district has been funding full-day prekindergarten through local and federal funds, may they continue to do so?
If a district is supporting their full-day program with local or State Compensatory Education funds, they may continue to do so as long as the early allotment funds are being used to improve programs and services in language and mathematics for prekindergarten through third grade.
11. Can a district continue to use their Title I, Part A funds towards a full-day prekindergarten program or is that supplanting?
Title I, Part A has a different definition of supplement/not supplant. As long as the LEA has an appropriate supplement/not supplant methodology implemented, then it would not be a supplanting to use Title I, Part A funds for full-day prekindergarten funding.
12. Can a district continue to partner with a Head Start or licensed child care to provide a full-day program and receive the early education allotment?
Yes. If a district has a partnership with a Head Start or licensed child care program, they may continue to braid their half-day average daily attendance with Head Start and/or child care funds. The early education allotment may be used to supplement quality improvement efforts to meet the high-quality prekindergarten components.
13. What is the definition of a public meeting?
To be considered a public meeting, the LEA must issue a public notice of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting.
14. May a district use the early education allotment to enroll non-eligible 3 and 4-year old’s?
Yes, if a district is providing full-day high quality prekindergarten to eligible four-year-olds, they may use any remaining funds to improve programs and services in PK-3.
15. If a district receives an exemption from providing full-day prekindergarten, will they still receive the early education allotment?
Yes, a district will receive the early allotment for any purpose that supports eventual improvements in 3rd grade reading and mathematics proficiency, even if they receive an exemption from full-day prekindergarten.
16. Does Rider 78 exist beyond the 2018-2019 school year?
No. The Rider was deleted in the appropriations bill of House Bill 1.
17. Will the high-quality prekindergarten program requirements for full-day prekindergarten for eligible four-year-olds be the same as the former High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant?
Yes, the high-quality components will be the same as the high-quality prekindergarten grant and Rider 78.
18. Will eligible four-year-olds get coded as “02” in PEIMS C185 PK-PROGRAM-TYPE-CODE?
Yes, eligible four-year-olds served in a full-day program will generate codes in PEIMS as “02”.
19. Is the use of an existing elementary school classroom for prekindergarten an instance of repurposing under HB 3?
No, if the prekindergarten classroom was an existing elementary classroom prior to the current elementary school year, this would not be considered repurposing as it will still be a classroom. If the space was not an elementary classroom and required modifications to become a classroom, this would then be considered repurposing.
20. Can I use pre-k funding and/or early education allotment funds to purchase classroom supplies, desks, chairs, books, etc. for pre-k classes?
Yes you can use both funding sources to purchases items for the pre-k classroom.
21. Can I use state comp ed funds to purchase classroom supplies, desks, chairs, books etc. for pre-k classrooms?
Yes you may use comp ed funds to purchase items for pre-k classrooms as long as the students meet the eligibility for use of comp ed funds, i.e. meet one of the 14 criteria in TEC 29.081 or are economically disadvantaged. In addition if a pre-k classroom has both eligible and ineligible students then allocating the cost of these items is allowable. For example 50% of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunch then comp ed funds can pay for 50% of the pre-k classroom items.
Howard Morrison, Statewide Coordinator, Early Childhood Education
Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1401