Early Childhood Education FAQs

Click on a button title below to go to the appropriate FAQ section. If you have any specific questions about the following information, please send them to earlychildhoodeducation@tea.texas.gov.

 

 

 

 

Prekindergarten Program FAQ

Click on a topic below to see the related questions and answers.

1. Are districts required to have a prekindergarten program?
Yes, if a district identifies 15 or more eligible children who are four years of age on or before September 1 of the current school year, they are required to offer a prekindergarten program. A district may not charge tuition for a prekindergarten class offered under this section. TEC §29.153(a-1) A school district may offer prekindergarten classes if the district identifies 15 or more eligible children who are at least three years of age.

2. Does the full-day prekindergarten program requirement apply to all prekindergarten students?
No. The full-day prekindergarten program requirement only applies to eligible four-year-olds.

3. What are the Pre-K requirements under House Bill 3?
House Bill 3 requires that all prekindergarten programs offered to eligible four-year-old students:

  • be full-day (75,600 operational minutes)
  • meet the high-quality requirements adopted by the legislature in 2015: curriculum, student progress monitoring, teacher qualifications, teacher-to-student ratio, family engagement plan, and program evaluation

4. Is Pre-K funded for full or half-day?
Prekindergarten students generate half-day ADA funding. However, to support implementation of full-day prekindergarten, HB3 increased funding to support early childhood education programs through the addition of the early education allotment.

5. 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 requirement for eligible four-year-olds.

6. If a district begins offering a full-day prekindergarten program 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 in a full-day program (typically due to physical capacity or personnel constraints). It should be noted that the full-day exemption is only an exemption from providing full-day prekindergarten not an exemption from serving eligible four-year-olds. PreK Programs: Frequently Asked Questions Updated June 2021

7. What is the room size requirement (minimum square feet) for a prekindergarten classroom?
Classrooms for prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade shall have a minimum of 36 square feet per pupil or 800 square feet per room.

8. What are the minutes of operation for a full-day prekindergarten program?
What are the minutes of operation for a half-day prekindergarten program? The minutes required for a full-day prekindergarten program are 75,600 operational minutes. The total may include recess, meals, intermission and rest time. The minutes required for a half-day program would be 32,400 instructional minutes. The total includes recess, meals, and intermission, but excludes rest time.

9. In a mixed-aged classroom, can the eligible three-year-old students attend half-day while the eligible four-year-old students attend full-day?
Prekindergarten classrooms serving eligible four-year-old students must be conducted as a full-day program unless the LEA has a current full-day waiver with TEA. LEAs have the option of creating a PK3 program that operates half-day, full-day, or a combination of the two. If the LEA offers a half-day PK3 program, it is allowable, in a mixed-age classroom, for eligible three-year-old students enrolled in the PK3 program to attend for a half day while the eligible four-year-old students attend for the full day.

10. May a district serve prekindergarten and kindergarten students in the same classroom?
Yes, students of both grade levels may be served in the same class. Keep in mind that such a program must meet program requirements (e.g. high-quality prekindergarten components) and provide instruction for all of the students, that is grade level appropriate and aligned with the appropriate grade-level expectations (e.g. Pre-k Guidelines or Kindergarten TEKS).

11. Do all Texas pre-k students receive free eligibility for School Nutrition Programs?
No. The Texas Department of Agriculture's request for a waiver to permit all Texas pre-k students to receive free eligibility for School Nutrition Programs (SNP's) was denied for the 2020-2021 school year. Please refer to this document for further eligibility guidance: https://squaremeals.org/Portals/8/files/ARM/SY20- 21%20Pre-Kindergarten%20Eligibility%20Guidance%20policy_FN.pdf

See more details about parental options for PK on this TEA guidance page.

1. When does Senate Bill (SB) 1697 go into effect?
SB 1697 became effective on June 15, 2021.

2. What does SB 1697 do?
SB 1697 established new Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.02124, Parental Option for Student Retention, which allows parents or guardians to opt to have their child—

  • repeat prekindergarten;
  • enroll in prekindergarten if the child was eligible to enroll in prekindergarten in the previous school year, under TEC, §29.153(b), and has not yet enrolled in kindergarten;

3. How do parents or guardians elect for their child to retake a grade or course?
Parents or guardians are required to notify the school district or charter school in writing that they elect for their child to retake a grade level or course.

4. Can a district refuse to allow a student to retake a grade level or course after a parent has made the request?
A school district or charter school may disagree with a parent who elects to have their child retake a grade level or course. If a district or charter school disagrees, the district or charter school must convene a retention committee and meet with the parent or guardian to discuss the retention. The retention committee will discuss the merits of and concerns about advancement or retention and review and consider the following:

  • Student's grade in each subject or course
  • Results of any formative or summative assessments administered to the student
  • Any other available academic information to determine the student's academic readiness for the next grade or a given course

After the parent/guardian has participated in the retention committee meeting, the parent will decide if the student will be retained. The district or charter school is required to abide by the parent’s or guardian’s decision.

5. Who is required to serve on a retention committee?
The retention committee must be comprised of the following:

  • Principal or the principal’s designee
  • Student’s parent or guardian
  • Teacher who taught the grade or course for which the parent wants the student to retake or be retained
  • Additional teachers at the discretion of the principal, if the student will repeat multiple courses.

6. Does SB 1697 apply to charter schools?
Yes, the legislation applies to both open-enrollment charter schools and school districts.

7. Does SB 1697 apply for the 2021-2022 school year only?
The provisions of the legislation that permit parents to elect for students enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 3 to be retained in the grade level has no expiration date.

8. Can a charter school deny a parent’s request for retention if the request is submitted after the enrollment lottery and all seats at that child’s current grade level are already filled?
No, the charter school must allow for the retention of that child at their current grade level. For the 2021-2022 school year, TEA will hold harmless any charter that exceeds its required student-teacher ratio because it was implementing the provisions of SB 1697. In future school years, charter schools should account for any potential increases in student-teacher ratio through their admissions and enrollment processes.

9. If a parent enrolls a child at a charter school they have not previously attended and subsequently requests that the child repeat the previous grade, is the charter school required to honor the request if the charter school does not have the previous grade as an approved grade level?
No, if the charter school does not have the previous grade as an approved grade level, the charter school cannot honor the parent’s request for retention. For example, if a parent enrolls a child in kindergarten at a charter school and subsequently decides to retain the child in prekindergarten, the school cannot honor the retention request if the charter school does not have prekindergarten as an approved grade level. A charter that provides educational services to a student in an unapproved grade level is in material violation of its charter contract.

10. If a parent is considering retention for their child and applying for a seat at a charter school during the open enrollment period, can the parent request that the child’s name be placed in the lottery at both the current and next year’s grade level?
No, a student may only apply for one enrollment seat at a charter school. However, if the parent has already decided to retain their child, they may apply for the seat at the child’s current grade level.

11. Can a charter school leave some enrollment seats open at each grade level after the enrollment lottery is conducted to anticipate possible retention requests, or must a charter fill all of its seats?
A charter school may choose to leave some seats unfilled after the lottery is conducted to ensure that seats are available for any possible retention requests.

Overview

Statute: TEC §29.153 (b)

Resources: Student Attendance and Accounting Handbook (SAAH), Section 7.2 & 3.5

To be eligible for enrollment in a free prekindergarten class, a child must be at least three years of age on or before September 1 of the current school year (if a 3-year-old program is available) or four years of age on or before September 1 of the current school year and meet at least one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • unable to speak and comprehend the English language
  • is educationally disadvantaged (eligible to participate in the national school lunch program... guidelines about NSLP eligibility can be found in sections 4 and 6 of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Administrators Reference Manual)
  • is homeless, as defined by 42 USC, §11434a, regardless of the residence of the child, of either parent of the child, or of the child's guardian or other person having lawful control of the child
  • is the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority
  • is 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 while serving on active duty
  • is or has ever been in the conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (foster care) following an adversary hearing held as provided by Family Code §262.201
  • is the child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award as:

Eligibility applies to three-year-olds when a three-year-old program is available.

Documentation

A district must verify a student’s eligibility for pre-k in order to receive funding for the pre-k program. Districts must have the verification document as well as any required documentation on file for their records.

Key Points

  • Each district offering a prekindergarten program must develop a system to notify families with eligible children of the availability of the program TEC §29.153(e). Notice must be made in English and Spanish. The following sources can be used for prekindergarten notification:
    • Letter of notification sent home with students
    • Identification systems in place at times of registration of older siblings
    • Newspaper articles o Notices in public places o Radio announcements
    • Display on school marquee
    • Community newsletters
    • Social media announcements
  • Students may not be denied or excluded from participating in a prekindergarten program for any reason if they are deemed eligible TEC §29.153 (b).
  • “Child” includes stepchild. The stepchild is eligible for pre-k enrollment whether or not the child resides in the same household as the stepparent. Student Attendance and Accounting Handbook, Section 7.2.1
  • Once a student is determined to be eligible for pre-k, the student remains eligible for the remainder of the current school year in the district in which he or she resides or is otherwise entitled to attend for Foundation School Program benefits.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn't my child eligible for prekindergarten?
The Texas Legislature determines eligibility requirements for free, public prekindergarten in Texas. When the Texas legislature established the prekindergarten program the intent was, and still is, to provide early learning experiences to students who are most at risk for school failure. Therefore, the eligibility is limited. The legislature believed that a high-quality prekindergarten program could mitigate the impact of the at-risk characteristics, thereby assisting these students to become school ready when they enter kindergarten.

Does my child have to go to prekindergarten if he or she is eligible?
No. Prekindergarten is not mandatory. However, on enrollment in prekindergarten, a child must attend school. All students are subject to compulsory school attendance rules while they are enrolled in school. If a child has not reached 6 years of age as of September 1 of the current school year, the child may be withdrawn from school without violating compulsory attendance rules. TEC §25.085(c), SAAH, Section 3.5

Are districts required to serve three-year-olds who are eligible?
No. A district may offer prekindergarten classes if the district identifies 15 or more eligible children who are at least three years of age. A child who is three years old is eligible for prekindergarten only if the district operates a three-year-old prekindergarten program. TEC §29.153(a), SAAH, Section 7.2

May districts keep "waiting lists" of eligible children who are not being served?
No, not for eligible four-year-olds. By law, a school district must offer prekindergarten classes if it identifies 15 or more children who are eligible and are four years of age by September 1 of the current school year. If a district offers a program for eligible three-year-old students, a waiting list or lottery for three-year-olds only may be established under district policy. TEC §29.153(a)

Is it necessary to verify/qualify a four-year-old student for PK who was eligible and enrolled in PK as a three- year-old student?
LEAs are still required to do their normal qualification process for previously enrolled three-year-old students, even though they would automatically qualify for PK based on their qualification and enrollment as three-year- old PK students. The PEIMS qualification code of automatic eligibility is a code of last resort and is only to be used if a student does not qualify for PK in any other way.

 

Eligibility Criteria One Pagers

1. 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.

2. 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 education allotment for any purpose that supports improvements in prekindergarten through 3rd grade reading and mathematics proficiency, even if they receive an exemption from full-day prekindergarten.

3. 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.

4. 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 supplanting to use Title I, Part A funds to fund full-day prekindergarten.

5. May a district use the early education allotment to enroll non-eligible 3 and 4-year olds?
Yes, if a district is providing full-day high quality prekindergarten to all eligible four-year-olds, they may use any remaining funds to improve programs and services in prekindergarten through third grade.

6. 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 purchase items for the pre-k classroom.

7. Can I use state compensatory education funds to purchase classroom supplies, desks, chairs, books, etc. for pre-k classrooms?
Yes, you may use compensatory education funds to purchase items for pre-k classrooms as long as the students meet the eligibility for use of compensatory education funds, i.e. meet one of the 14 criteria in TEC 29.081(d) 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, if 50% of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, then compensatory education funds can pay for 50% of the pre-k classroom items.

General Enrollment

1. Does the agency have any outreach materials to help schools notify communities about their prekindergarten programs?
Yes. The Early Childhood Education Division developed the Enrollment Toolkit that includes materials to support program availability outreach to communities.

2. How do we know if our child is the right age?
Age is always calculated as of September 1 of the current school year (for the purposes of establishing eligibility). If school starts before the student's birth date, the student is still allowed to begin school on the start date, as long as they are the required age on or before September 1st. SAAH, Section 14, Glossary

PreK Enrollment

1. Does a school have to notify families about the availability of prekindergarten programs?
Yes. Each district offering a prekindergarten program must develop a system to notify families with eligible children of the availability of the program. The notice must be made in English and Spanish. TEC §29.153(e)

2. What are some ways school districts can notify the availability of the prekindergarten program?
The following sources can be used for prekindergarten notification:

  • Letter of notification sent home with students
  • Identification systems in place at times of registration of older siblings
  • Newspaper articles
  • Notices in public places
  • Radio announcements
  • Display on school marquee
  • Community newsletters
  • Social media announcements TEC §29.153(e)

3. May eligible students be excluded from enrollment if they are not potty trained or have frequent bathroom accidents?
No, they may not be excluded from enrollment because eligible students are not required to be potty trained. TEA does not regulate procedures for assisting a child with bathroom capabilities; local district policy governs hygiene assistance. It is recommended that schools establish written guidelines for managing these situations.

4. May districts keep "waiting lists" of eligible children who are not being served?
No, not for eligible four-year-olds. By law, a school district must offer prekindergarten classes if it identifies 15 or more children who are eligible and are four years of age by September 1 of the current school year. If a district offers a program for eligible three-year-old students, a waiting list or lottery for three-year-olds only may be established under district policy. TEC §29.153(a)

1. May TEA waive the requirement to begin a prekindergarten program?
Yes. On application of a district, the commissioner may exempt a district if the district would be required to construct classroom facilities in order to begin offering prekindergarten classes. A district waiver request must be accompanied by a plan from the district on how they will begin implementation of the program by the beginning of the school year following the request if the district continues to have 15 or more eligible students. Ongoing and continuous waivers and waivers requesting to not add students to an existing program will not be approved. TEC §29.153(d)

2. May a district request a waiver to either partially, or fully exempt them from providing a full-day prekindergarten to eligible four-year-olds?
No. The full-day prekindergarten waiver request was available in school year 19-20 and was extended to school year 20-21 due to COVID. Beginning in school year 21-22, only requests for full-day prekindergarten waiver renewals will be accepted. Please see the Full-Day Prekindergarten Exemption Renewal Process for further information.

3. If a district elects to request a renewal of their full-day prekindergarten waiver, when and through what process will that be available?
A renewal of a full-day prekindergarten waiver may be requested through the State Waivers Unit. LEAs with an approved exemption may apply for a one-time renewal of the full-day prekindergarten exemption towards the end of the expiring school year. When applying for a renewal, the LEA must attach documentation to the waiver application to show they have adhered to the Full-Day Prekindergarten Exemption Process. Documentation should include evidence that additional four-year-old children were served in full-day prekindergarten each year of the waiver period OR evidence that proposals for partnerships were solicited each year during the waiver period.

4. Is the use of an existing elementary classroom for prekindergarten an instance of repurposing under HB3?
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.

5. When I apply for a full-day prekindergarten waiver renewal, what information will be requested of my LEA?
The following information will be required:

  • LEA contact name, phone and email
  • Date of LEA board meeting • Exemption condition
  • Date of public meeting
  • Did your LEA solicit partnership opportunities? Yes/No
  • Did your LEA receive proposals for partnerships? Yes/No
  • Did your LEA consider the proposals for the partnership it received? Yes/No
    • If yes, type of partnership and number of solicitations received:
Type Number of Solicitations
Texas Rising Star - 3+ star certification  
Nationally Accredited  
Head Start  
Texas School Ready  
Met the Requirements of TEC 29.1532  
Other  

 

  • Requested years
    • Select requested years (up to 3 years)

6. Why should my district request a waiver renewal for full-day prekindergarten?
House Bill 3, 86th Texas Legislature, required that full-day prekindergarten be provided for all eligible four-year-old students beginning on September 1, 2019. LEAs that were unable to meet the full-day requirement for all eligible four-year-old students should have submitted an exemption request in school year 19-20 or 20-21. The exemption could have been requested for up to three years. If at the end of the exemption period, the LEA determines that they are not able to offer full-day prekindergarten for all eligible four-year-olds, they may apply for an exemption renewal. Exemption renewals may be granted if it is determined that:

  1. the LEA would be required to construct classroom facilities in order to provide prekindergarten classes; or
  2. implementation would result in fewer eligible children being enrolled in prekindergarten.

7. When and how will an LEA be notified about the approval of a waiver renewal submitted for full-day prekindergarten?
LEAs will be notified within thirty days from the date of submission regarding the status of their exemption renewal request. The State Waivers Unit will notify the contact person indicated on the exemption application by email or US mail regarding the approval of the requested exemption renewal.

8. What is the purpose for soliciting and considering partnerships with public or private child care providers before requesting a full-day prekindergarten waiver?
It is important to consider all options for providing full-day prekindergarten for all eligible four-year-old students before requesting an exemption renewal. For example, child care providers may have additional space available immediately for serving more eligible students. There may also be cases where child care providers are already serving four-year-old students who may also qualify for prekindergarten. Entering into a partnership will allow the LEA and the child care provider to leverage funding, resources, and services to provide a high-quality prekindergarten program. Even if a partnership may not be a goodfit at the moment, the solicitation process will allow for the LEA and child care providers to build relationships for possible future partnership opportunities.

9. How do LEAs determine the need to solicit partnership proposals for years two and three of the waiver term?
If an LEA has a two- or three-year exemption, the LEA is required to show progress each year. In order to show progress, the LEA should increase the number of children who are receiving full-day prekindergarten each year that an exemption is in place. If an LEA is not able to show progress, the LEA should hold an additional public meeting to solicit and consider proposals for partnerships with public or private child care providers.

10. Is there a certain process LEAs should follow when soliciting and considering partnership proposals?
LEAs should make the proposal process known to the community, especially private or public child care providers (e.g., through the LEA’s website, social media, and the local workforce board). Sufficient time should be given to child care providers to submit their proposals for consideration. LEAs must review and consider proposals from interested eligible child care providers at a public meeting. An LEA must solicit and consider proposals for partnerships with public or private child care providers who meet one of the following status requirements:

  • Texas Rising Star program providers with a three-star certification or higher
  • Nationally accredited
  • Head Start program providers
  • Texas School Ready! participants
  • Meet the requirements under Texas Education Code, §29.1532:

If an LEA contracts with a private entity for the operation of the LEAs prekindergarten program for three-year-olds, the provider must at a minimum comply with the applicable child care licensing standards adopted by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services under Human Resources Code §42.042. If an LEA contracts with a private provider for the operation of the LEAs prekindergarten program for four-year-olds, the private provider must be licensed by and in good standing with the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The private provider must also:

  1. be accredited by a research-based, nationally recognized, and universally accessible accreditation system approved by the commissioner;
  2. be a Texas Rising Star Program provider with a three-star certification or higher;
  3. be a Texas School Ready! participant;
  4. have an existing partnership with a school district to provide a prekindergarten not provided under this subchapter; or
  5. be accredited by an organization that is recognized by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission.

TEC §29.171(b)

11. Does the full-day prekindergarten waiver exempt an LEA from the high-quality prekindergarten components?
An LEA that requested an exemption from full-day prekindergarten in school year 19-20 or 20-21 had the option to request an exemption from one or more of the high-quality prekindergarten components. The full-day prekindergarten exemption may be renewed only once. This renewal includes any exemptions from the high-quality prekindergarten components that were approved with the original waiver request.

12. Can an LEA add an exemption from the high-quality prekindergarten components to a full-day prekindergarten waiver renewal?
No. The renewal is only for what was approved with the original waiver request.

13. Does the high-quality prekindergarten (HQPK) component exemption for “Additional Teacher Qualifications” exempt the LEA from hiring certified teachers in prekindergarten classrooms that serve four-year-old students?
No. The HQPK component exemption is for additional teacher qualifications required by HB 3. All school district prekindergarten classrooms that serve four-year-old students must have an appropriately certified teacher, per Texas Education Code Sec. 21.003.

14. 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.

15. What is the definition of a public meeting?
To be considered a public meeting, the local education agency (LEA) must issue a public notice of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting. Many LEAs address the solicitation and review of prekindergarten partnership proposals from local child care providers during a scheduled school board meeting. However, holding the public meeting during a school board meeting is not a requirement.

1. What is an early learning partnership?
Early learning partnerships are formal collaborations between local education agencies (LEAs) such as school districts or open-enrollment charters, and private early learning programs (ELPs) or Head Start centers. The resulting partnership allows them to dual enroll children and provide prekindergarten and/or additional comprehensive, wrap-around services.

2. If my district isn't ready to dual enroll children, can we still create a partnership?
Yes, LEAs that are not interested in a formal partnership with dually enrolled children may want to create an informal partnership focused on sharing professional development, school readiness strategies, family engagement, kindergarten transitions, or other shared resources. Informal partnerships do not pass through funding.

3. With which early learning providers can my district partner?
Early learning programs must meet one of the following eligibility criteria in order to partner with an LEA: • Texas Rising Star 3- or 4-Star • Nationally accredited • Head Start program provider • Texas School Ready! Participant • Meet the requirements under TEC Section 29.1532(b)

4. Does TEA require my district to participate in early learning partnerships?
While TEA does not require districts to participate in partnerships, solicitation and consideration of partnership proposals is required in order for a district to apply for the full-day prekindergarten exemption. Partnerships can be very beneficial to districts because they provide a way to increase enrollment, and share space, professional development, family engagement and other resources to elevate school readiness for children entering the district for kindergarten.

5. Is there a resource available to help my district make a plan for developing a partnership?
The ECE Division has created the Early Learning Public-Private Partnerships Guidebook which is a valuable resource for districts and early learning programs as they plan for partnerships. The guidebook is included on the Early Learning Partnership webpage. There are many other resources available on the partnership webpage.

6. Why should my district develop an Early Learning Partnership with a local Early Learning Program?
Early Learning partnerships provide many benefits to LEAs. Each LEA can develop a partnership that addresses the unique needs of their community, so the benefits depend on the needs the partnership addresses. Benefits of partnerships include but are not limited to the following: increased enrollment, increased classroom space, shared professional development, shared materials, shared family engagement, shared community resources, increased school readiness, expanded early childhood community.

High-Quality Prekindergarten Program Component FAQs

Click on a topic below to see the related questions and answers.

1. Do the high-quality components apply to charter schools, districts of innovation, and districts who are in partnerships with local child care centers or Head Start programs?
Yes, they do. Any public prekindergarten program serving eligible four-year-old students must implement the high- quality prekindergarten components. This includes:

  • Districts: TEC §29.153 (c) (c-1)
  • Open-enrollment charters: TEC §12.104 (b) (3) (H)
  • Districts of Innovation: TEC §12A.004 (a) (1)

2. Our district is currently offering prekindergarten even though we do not have 15 eligible students. Must we offer full-day services, as outlined in the Texas Education Code, and do we have to comply with the high-quality components?
If a district serves eligible four-year-old students in a prekindergarten program that generates Foundation School Program (FSP) funding, it must operate full-day services and comply with the high-quality components.

1. What is the purpose of the High-Quality Prekindergarten Component District Report? What are districts expected to do with the results contained in the report?
The High-Quality Prekindergarten Component District Report was designed by TEA to inform district leaders of their status in meeting the high-quality prekindergarten components each school year and to offer support in the implementation of those components. Superintendents are encouraged to emphasize areas of high quality and areas in need of improvement with their early education staff in their ongoing efforts to meet statutory requirements and in offering a prekindergarten program of the highest quality.

2. What do the numbers in the report represent?

  • Curriculum – number of prekindergarten classes serving eligible four-year-old students using the district- adopted curriculum
  • Student Progress Monitoring – number of eligible four-year-old students assessed with a commissioner- approved instrument
  • Teacher Qualification – number of prekindergarten teachers with the identified additional qualification that serve four-year-old eligible students
  • Program Evaluation – number of prekindergarten classes serving eligible four-year-old students that implemented a program evaluation

3. What if I find the data contained within my district’s report to be inaccurate?
All districts, open-enrollment charter schools and districts of innovation that offer a prekindergarten program upload their unique data into the Early Childhood Data System (ECDS) annually; the report contains the data that was uploaded by the district. Districts are not able to correct the data after its final submission; however, they are encouraged to review their current policies and procedures about collecting and uploading the data into ECDS. Districts should ensure their early childhood program staff and PEIMS staff discuss the prekindergarten components required for submission.

4. Our district has a “-1” on the Prekindergarten Progress Monitoring page; what does that mean?
Student counts of less than five are masked with the “-1.” If your district’s report has a “-1” in one of the columns, that means that less than five students fall into that category and must be masked for FERPA compliance.

5. Why are there differences in the BOY and EOY number of students assessed in my district’s report?
Many districts experience variations in the number of eligible four-year-old students served at the beginning and end of the school year for various reasons. For example, students may move out of the district or enter into the district mid- year and miss one of the assessment windows.

1. What are the requirements related to curriculum for a prekindergarten program?
The curriculum used in a prekindergarten classroom serving eligible four-year-old students must be aligned with the 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines. TEC §29.167 (a); 19 TAC §102.1003 (c)

2. May a district use a locally designed curriculum for its prekindergarten program?
Yes, a district may use a locally designed curriculum as long as the curriculum aligns with the 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines. The district should have evidence of the alignment of their locally designed curriculum to the 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines.

3. I heard that a district must use a curriculum that is listed on the current Instructional Materials List; is that true?
The Instructional Materials List is developed by the State Board of Education. The curricula that are contained on the Instructional Material List have been reviewed, and it has been determined that they align with the 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines. A district does not have to use a curriculum on the Instructional Materials List. Districts must, however, use a curriculum that aligns with the 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines.

4. Are there physical education requirements for prekindergarten?
Full-day prekindergarten students are required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year as part of the district’s physical education curriculum or through structured activity during daily recess. Learning relates directly to mobility and motor skills, and, therefore, activities that enhance gross motor development are recommended for young students.

The 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines suggest at least 45 minutes of outdoor time in their sample full-day schedule (page 16). TEC §28.002(l)

5. Are children required to have a rest time in prekindergarten?
Policy relating to rest time for full-day prekindergarten students is determined at the local level. Rest time, if given, can be counted as part of the daily instructional minutes in full-day prekindergarten. The 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines suggest a rest time in their sample full-day schedule (page 16).

1. Is a district required to use an assessment from the commissioner’s list?
Yes, school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and districts of innovation must use a tool that assesses the five developmental domains and is listed on the 2017-2021 Commissioner’s List of Approved Prekindergarten Assessment Instruments. They must use one of the assessment tools from that list to submit their student progress monitoring data into ECDS. TEC §29.1532 (c); TEC §29.167 (a) (2); TEC §29.169; 19 TAC §102.1003 (c)(1) and (f) (2)

2. What if a child in our prekindergarten program will not participate in the assessments that are a part of the student progress monitoring tool we are using?
It is recommended that prekindergarten children be given adequate time to adjust to the new experience of going to school. For some students, that adjustment time takes longer. It is allowable to schedule the assessments at a time that the child will be more willing to participate. Young children may hesitate to participate in a pull-aside activity when their interests are focused on something occurring in the classroom. Teachers may want to consider one of the following strategies:

  • conducting assessments at one of the learning centers
  • changing the time of the day when the assessment is attempted
  • changing the location of where the assessment is attempted

The goal should always be on collecting authentic, accurate data and to help the child feel comfortable in the assessment process.

3. Should student progress monitoring be done with children who have a disability?
Districts should always follow the instructions and guidance on a child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). An IEP may include instructions regarding whether it is appropriate to use the student progress monitoring tool with the child or not. At times a teacher may be instructed to conduct part of a student progress monitoring tool with a student with a disability (e.g., a child with a mobility difficulty could be assessed in all measures except those that require movement). Written instructions regarding appropriate accommodations may also be included in a child’s IEP.

4. Is it necessary for teachers to conduct student progress monitoring using more than one tool if the prekindergarten program is funded by more than one source?
Funding sources may have differing guidelines regarding student progress monitoring. It is recommended that a district review the expectations of each funding source and choose a student progress monitoring tool that meets all of the specifications of each funding source. As an example, if a prekindergarten program receives Foundation School Program (FSP) funding from the state of Texas along with Head Start funding from the federal government, the district or charter could choose to use the Children's Learning Institute CIRCLE assessment tool. It meets the expectations of both Texas and the federal government.

5. Are districts required to submit BOY, MOY, and EOY student progress monitoring data?
Districts must submit beginning-of-year (BOY) and end-of-year (EOY) student progress monitoring data for their eligible four-year-old students into ECDS. It is recommended that districts use the results of BOY, middle-of-year (MOY), and EOY student progress monitoring data to inform classroom instruction. 19 TAC §102.1003 (c) (1)

6. Where can a district or charter school get specific answers regarding the student progress monitoring tool they are using?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) can answer questions about the expectations in statute and/or Commissioner’s rule regarding student progress monitoring. However, the best source of information regarding specific assessment tools are the publishers of the tools.

7. What are the five developmental domains that are required to be assessed in prekindergarten?
The five developmental domains include:

  • Health and wellness
  • Language and communication
  • Emergent literacy – reading
  • Emergent literacy – writing
  • Mathematics

19 TAC §102.1003 (c) (1)

8. What skills are included in health and wellness?
Health and wellness skills are those skills listed in the Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development domains of the 2015 Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines. They include the following: Self-Concept skills, Self-Regulation skills, Behavior Control, Emotional Control, Relationships with Others, and Social Awareness skills, Gross Motor Development skills, Fine-Motor Development skills, and Personal Safety and Health skills.

9. How often should student progress monitoring be done?
Formal/summative assessment should be done three times a year (BOY, MOY & EOY). The BOY and EOY data must be uploaded into the ECDS at the end of each school year. BOY and EOY data show the progress the student made within that grade level. MOY data can be used to determine whether instructional strategy changes are needed.

Informal/formative assessment is done by teachers during the daily activities of each school day as they observe how students are responding to their instruction. This informal assessment data enables the teachers to adjust their instruction immediately to meet individual students’ needs.

All assessment data, both formal and informal, should be used to inform instruction.

10. Is a district required to implement progress monitoring for 3-year-old prekindergarten students?
If a student is served in a stand-alone PK3 classroom, specific progress monitoring is not required.

Progress monitoring is required in high-quality prekindergarten classrooms. If a student is served in a mixed classroom (PK3 with PK4), where progress monitoring is required a teacher should implement progress monitoring that is developmentally appropriate for students and may adjust monitoring for 3-year-olds or exclude 3-year-old students if it is deemed developmentally inappropriate.

Student progress monitoring is a very important part of the teaching cycle and is considered a best practice with all age groups. It enables a teacher to effectively adapt the daily classroom instruction to meet the needs of their students.

11. Is a district required to submit data in ECDS for 3-year-old prekindergarten students ?
If a district conducts student progress monitoring with its eligible three-year-old students using a tool from the Commissioner’s List, the BOY and EOY data must be submitted into ECDS annually. This is true for both standalone PK3 classes and mixed PK3/PK4 classes. TEC, §29.1532

1. Does the additional teacher qualification pertain to all prekindergarten teachers?
The additional teacher qualification applies to the teacher of record in a prekindergarten classroom that includes at least one eligible four-year-old student.

2. Do districts need to provide their teachers with a mentor for 15 hours?
Districts serving eligible four-year-old students must employ prekindergarten teachers who are appropriately certified to teach early childhood (as per TEC Subchapter B, Chapter 21) and meet one of the following additional qualification options:

  • Certified + Has a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA)
  • Certified + Has a Montessori certification
  • Certified + Has taught for at least 8 years in a nationally accredited childcare program
  • Certified + Has a degree in ECE, Special Education-ECE or a non-ECE degree with 15 units of ECE-specific coursework
  • Certified + Completion of TSR-Comprehensive Program
  • Certified + Has completed 150 hours of professional development in ECE-specific topics, 75 of the 150 hours being in a mentoring/coaching relationship
  • Certified + Completes 30 hours of ECE-specific professional development annually with 15 of the 30 hours being in a mentoring/coaching relationship until 150 hours are documented

Although mentoring/coaching is only listed in two of the options listed above, mentoring/coaching is considered a best practice in early childhood. TEC §29.167 (b) (c); 19 TAC §102.1003 (d)

3. Are prekindergarten teachers who work within a charter school or district of innovation required to be certified?
Yes, all school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and districts of innovation must employ prekindergarten teachers who are appropriately certified and meet one of the teacher qualification options referenced above if they are serving eligible four-year-old students.

TEC §29.153 (c) (c-1); TEC §12.104 (b) (3) (H); TEC §12A.004 (a) (1); TEC §29.167 (b) (c); 19 TAC §102.1003 (d)

4. When will teachers be expected to meet the additional teacher qualifications?
As of 2019, all prekindergarten teachers who teach eligible four-year-old students must meet one of the additional teacher qualification options.

5. My existing prekindergarten teacher holds valid Texas certificates in both Elementary Early Childhood Education (PK-6) and Elementary Self-Contained (PK-6). Does this meet the teacher qualifications?
No, school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and districts of innovation serving eligible four-year-old students must employ prekindergarten teachers who are certified AND meet one additional qualification. Please refer to the list above for clarification on the additional teacher qualification options.

6. If a special education teacher serves eligible prekindergartners in a special education classroom, does the additional teacher qualification apply to that teacher?
No, it does not. The additional teacher qualifications do not apply to special education classrooms established to provide special education services. The additional teacher qualifications apply to a teacher of record serving eligible four-year-old students in a prekindergarten classroom.

7.Do the “additional qualifications” apply to the two teachers working in a co-teach classroom?
Co-teaching is a service delivery option that provides students with disabilities the special education services to which they are entitled, while ensuring that they can also access the general curriculum in the least restrictive environment. A co-teach classroom has two teachers of record. The students that are eligible for both PK4 and special education would be assigned to the general education teacher of record; this teacher must be appropriately certified and must have an “additional qualification.” The students that are ineligible for PK4, but eligible for special education services would be assigned to the special education teacher; this teacher must be appropriately certified but does not need to meet the “additional qualifications.” The special education needs of the students that have an identified disability are identified in the students’ individualized education plan (IEP) and addressed by the special education teacher.

8. I have been a prekindergarten teacher for 20 years. I have 9 hours of specific ECE coursework within my degree; I have also taught in a nationally accredited site for 3 years. Have I met the additional qualifications requirement?
No. Prekindergarten teachers serving eligible four-year-old students must be appropriately certified to teach prekindergarten and must meet one of the additional qualifications referenced above. Options cannot be combined to create another option.

9. What is considered “early childhood – specific” coursework?
Coursework that is early childhood-specific covers the age span from birth through 2nd grade. Coursework that covers the entire age span of elementary-aged students (PK-6th) is not early childhood specific coursework. This same definition applies to the professional development referenced in the “additional qualifications” options.

10. Will the Children’s Learning Institute provide documentation of completion of Texas School Ready (TSR) - Comprehensive training?
The Children’s Learning Institute should be able to provide documentation to the district or charter school upon request. For more information about Texas School Ready, please visit their website at https://texasschoolready.org/

11. Can you provide additional guidance on mentoring/coaching?
The core elements of mentoring/coaching are:

  • a one-to-one relationship between a mentor/coach and the teacher(s)
  • on-the-job support that focuses on the development of specific early childhood education knowledge, skills or practices that can be used in daily work with children
  • a shared commitment to continuous improvement to ensure positive outcomes for all children

A mentor/coach could be:

  • An early childhood expert
  • Early childhood staff from a Regional Educational Service Center (ESC)
  • An instructional coach within/outside of school district • A supervisor*
  • A principal or another leadership administrator with an early childhood background within a school district
  • A coach from an early childhood agency, such as the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) or Texas School Ready (TSR)
  • A peer teacher who is considered an expert in early childhood education or in a specific early childhood skill or practice
  • A coach/leader/facilitator of an established professional learning community
  • A professional mentor/coach who specializes in technology-based coaching

*It is advised that a supervisor keep their mentoring/coaching role separate from their supervisory role.

Effective mentoring/coaching is implemented in a cyclical manner over a designated timeframe. The mentoring/coaching cycle includes:

  • Collaborative action planning and goal-setting
  • Learning opportunities (modeling, video reviews, research)
  • Practice (co-teaching, observations with feedback)
  • Reflection (independent and collaborative feedback)

Mentoring/coaching relationships can be implemented through a variety of methods, including but not limited to the following:

  • Face to face interactions (ongoing planned and unplanned interactions between the mentor/coach and the teacher)
  • Professional Learning Communities (ongoing planned interactions between the mentor/coach and a group of teachers that are working or learning the same knowledge, skill or practice)
  • Technology-based coaching (ongoing planned interactions between the mentor/coach and the teacher that are facilitated through some form of technology, rather than face to face interactions)
  • Hybrid or a combination of methods

12. Would meeting with teachers in a campus PLC count as “mentoring/coaching” hours?
A professional learning community (PLC) that has ongoing planned interactions between a mentor/coach and a group of teachers that is working or learning the same early childhood knowledge, skill or practice could be counted as mentoring/coaching hours. It is important that the PLC is implemented in a cyclical manner over a designated timeframe and that there is a strategic focus for each meeting.

13. With the new full-day requirement, what are some options for giving prekindergarten classroom teachers the required 45 minutes of daily planning?
Districts have several options for providing classroom teachers serving prekindergarten students a 30-minute duty-free lunch and at least 45 minutes for planning and preparation within the instructional day. Some of these options could include:

  • Participation of the prekindergarten students in “specials” conducted during the school day. “Specials” could include PE, music, art, or time spent in the library. During these time periods, prekindergarten students could be supervised and receive instruction by an appropriately certified teacher other than the teacher of record.
  • Rotation of supervisory responsibilities between appropriately certified teachers and/or educators, which may include educational aides (e.g., for recess or lunch). The expectation is that instruction is continuing during these time periods.
  • Supervision and instruction conducted by a paraprofessional who is, at a minimum, appropriately certified as an Educational Aide I, II or III (https://tea.texas.gov/texas-educators/certification/initial-certification/becoming-an- educational-aide-in-texas) It is recommended that districts have policies in place to identify the timeframes and circumstances when it is allowable for students to be instructed without the direct supervision of their teachers of record. Please see TEC §5.001, TEC §21.003, TEC §21.404 and TEC §21.405(a).

14. If a district is anticipating hiring a PK-certified teacher, does the teacher have to have the first 30 hours of PD, including 15 hours of mentoring/coaching, completed before the teacher can be hired?
No. The newly hired prekindergarten teacher serving eligible four-year-old students must complete their first 30 hours of PD (including 15 hours of mentoring/coaching) before the district submits its annual data into the Early Childhood Data System (ECDS) in early summer.

1. How do you define “attempt” in connection with teacher-to-student ratios?
In meeting this high-quality component, districts should implement and document their continuous efforts in maintaining the 1:11 ratio until it is achieved. TEC §29.167 (d); 19 TAC §102.1003 (h)(i)

2. What qualifications must a teacher aide meet?
There are certifications for which a teacher aide may apply. In order to apply, the teacher aide must first be employed by a school district. Teacher aides are encouraged to contact their employing school district for application instructions and to confirm they meet any additional requirements established by the district prior to being issued an educational aide certificate. For Educational Aide I , Educational Aide II, and Educational Aide III requirements, please visit https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Certification/Initial_Certification/Becoming_an_Educational_Aide_in_Texas/

1. When is the Family Engagement Plan due?
In implementing the high-quality prekindergarten components, districts must have a written Family Engagement Plan containing the six required components and should be in the process of implementing the plan beginning on September 1, 2019. The Family Engagement Plan URL must be submitted to TEA within ECDS each year. TEC §29.168; 19 TAC §102.1003 (e)

2. Should the Family Engagement Plan be a district document, or can it be relevant to just one campus?
Districts must write and implement a Family Engagement Plan associated with the district's prekindergarten program. A district should have one document that covers the whole district. Campus-level modifications within a district may be made to suit the needs of each prekindergarten program. The Family Engagement Plan URL associated with the entire district must be submitted to TEA within ECDS.

3. What information must the Family Engagement Plan contain?
The written Family Engagement Plan must contain information on how the district is achieving and maintaining high levels of family involvement and positive family attitudes toward education through the following six components:

  • Facilitating family-to-family support
  • Establishing a network of community resources
  • Increasing family participation in decision-making
  • Equipping families with tools to enhance and extend learning
  • Developing staff skills in evidence-based practices that support families in meeting their children’s learning benchmarks
  • Evaluating family engagement efforts and using evaluations for continuous improvement

TEC §29.168; 19 TAC §102.1003 (e)

4. How can a district make their Family Engagement Plan available for families of students and community stakeholders?
The Family Engagement Plan must be made available on the district’s or campus’s website. TEC §29.168; 19 TAC §102.1003 (e)

5. Our district already has a document that addresses how to encourage family involvement. Can we use that document to comply with this high-quality component?
Often districts/charter schools already have a written document that describes their approach to working with the families of the students they serve. This is especially true if a district receives Title 1 funds or is in partnership with a Head Start grantee. It might be possible to use that existing document as the Family Engagement Plan if:

  • the existing document contains the six expected components;
  • the activities listed in the document are implemented in the prekindergarten program; and
  • the document is available on the web.

1. Is there a program evaluation tool that is required for districts to use in meeting this requirement?
No. TEA has developed the Early Childhood Program Self-Assessment and the Early Childhood Program Self-Assessment Guide to assist district-level personnel in meeting this high-quality requirement, but LEAs are able to determine which program evaluation tool they want to use. At minimum, districts must use student progress monitoring data to evaluate their program.

TEC §29.169 (a); 19 TAC §102.1003 (g)

2. What methods could a district use in giving families the results of the prekindergarten program evaluation?
There are a variety of ways districts could inform families of the results of the program evaluation, including the following: using the web; sending home a written report; or hosting a meeting to discuss the results. Districts should document how the results of the prekindergarten program evaluation are communicated with families.

3. How often should a prekindergarten program evaluation be done?
Program evaluations should be done annually.

K-2nd Grade Program FAQ

Click on a topic below to see the related questions and answers.

May a district serve prekindergarten and kindergarten students in the same classroom?
Yes, students of both grade levels may be served in the same class. Keep in mind that such a program must meet program requirements (e.g. high-quality prekindergarten components) and provide instruction for all of the students, that is grade level appropriate and aligned with the appropriate grade-level expectations (e.g. Pre-k Guidelines or Kindergarten TEKS).

K-2 Enrollment

1. May a child younger than five years of age enter kindergarten?
A student younger than five years of age is entitled to the benefits of the Foundation School Program if: (1) the student performs satisfactorily on the assessment instrument administered under TEC Section 39.023(a) to students in the third grade; and (2) the district has adopted a policy for admitting students younger than five years of age. TEC §48.003(d)

See more information about parental options for kindergarten on the TEA guidance page.

1. When does Senate Bill (SB) 1697 go into effect?
SB 1697 became effective on June 15, 2021.

2. What does SB 1697 do?
SB 1697 established new Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.02124, Parental Option for Student Retention, which allows parents or guardians to opt to have their child—

  • repeat kindergarten;
  • enroll in kindergarten if the child would have enrolled in kindergarten in the previous school year and has not yet enrolled in first grade;
  • for grades one through three, repeat the grade the student was enrolled in the previous school year;

3. How do parents or guardians elect for their child to retake a grade or course?
Parents or guardians are required to notify the school district or charter school in writing that they elect for their child to retake a grade level or course.

4. Can a district refuse to allow a student to retake a grade level or course after a parent has made the request?
A school district or charter school may disagree with a parent who elects to have their child retake a grade level or course. If a district or charter school disagrees, the district or charter school must convene a retention committee and meet with the parent or guardian to discuss the retention. The retention committee will discuss the merits of and concerns about advancement or retention and review and consider the following:

  • Student's grade in each subject or course
  • Results of any formative or summative assessments administered to the student
  • Any other available academic information to determine the student's academic readiness for the next grade or a given course

After the parent/guardian has participated in the retention committee meeting, the parent will decide if the student will be retained. The district or charter school is required to abide by the parent’s or guardian’s decision.

5. Who is required to serve on a retention committee?
The retention committee must be comprised of the following:

  • Principal or the principal’s designee
  • Student’s parent or guardian
  • Teacher who taught the grade or course for which the parent wants the student to retake or be retained
  • Additional teachers at the discretion of the principal, if the student will repeat multiple courses.

6. Does SB 1697 apply to charter schools?
Yes, the legislation applies to both open-enrollment charter schools and school districts.

7. Is a district required to assign grades to a student who is repeating a course or grade level at the request of the parent?
Yes. TEC, §28.022, requires a district, at least once every 12 weeks, to give written notice to a parent of a student's performance in each class or subject. Additionally, for courses in the foundation curriculum, a district must give written notice to a parent or legal guardian of a student's performance at least once every three weeks or during the fourth week of each nine-week grading period if the student's performance in the subject is consistently unsatisfactory. District and charter schools may, in accordance with local policy, assign a pass/fail grade in lieu of a numeric grade.

8. Does SB 1697 apply for the 2021-2022 school year only?
The provisions of the legislation that permit parents to elect for students enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 3 to be retained in the grade level has no expiration date.

9. Can a charter school deny a parent’s request for retention if the request is submitted after the enrollment lottery and all seats at that child’s current grade level are already filled?
No, the charter school must allow for the retention of that child at their current grade level. For the 2021-2022 school year, TEA will hold harmless any charter that exceeds its required student-teacher ratio because it was implementing the provisions of SB 1697. In future school years, charter schools should account for any potential increases in student-teacher ratio through their admissions and enrollment processes.

10. If a parent enrolls a child at a charter school they have not previously attended and subsequently requests that the child repeat the previous grade, is the charter school required to honor the request if the charter school does not have the previous grade as an approved grade level?
No, if the charter school does not have the previous grade as an approved grade level, the charter school cannot honor the parent’s request for retention. For example, if a parent enrolls a child in kindergarten at a charter school and subsequently decides to retain the child in prekindergarten, the school cannot honor the retention request if the charter school does not have prekindergarten as an approved grade level. A charter that provides educational services to a student in an unapproved grade level is in material violation of its charter contract.

11. If a parent is considering retention for their child and applying for a seat at a charter school during the open enrollment period, can the parent request that the child’s name be placed in the lottery at both the current and next year’s grade level?
No, a student may only apply for one enrollment seat at a charter school. However, if the parent has already decided to retain their child, they may apply for the seat at the child’s current grade level.

12. Can a charter school leave some enrollment seats open at each grade level after the enrollment lottery is conducted to anticipate possible retention requests, or must a charter fill all of its seats?
A charter school may choose to leave some seats unfilled after the lottery is conducted to ensure that seats are available for any possible retention requests.