For Immediate Release
Contact: Peter Clark, 512-473-2274
Austin - Today Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 3, the Legislature's school finance overhaul bill, which includes funding for full-day (six-hour) pre-k. Until now, the state has only funded half-day (three-hour) pre-k. Eligibility for public school pre-k — which is limited to children who are from low-income families, are learning English, or meet other eligibility standards — will continue to be the same under HB 3.
Following the announcement, David Feigen, Early Childhood Policy Associate at Texans Care for Children, released the following statement:
"We're thrilled that Texas will now provide full-day pre-k funding for eligible kids. We are grateful to Texas leaders for making full-day pre-k funding a priority. Our team and other advocates have spent many years helping to lay the groundwork for this moment, so this is an exciting day for us.
"This step will ensure that more Texas kids start kindergarten ready to learn and become strong readers by third grade. A child's experiences during the first few years of life, including the experience of high-quality pre-k, provide the foundation for the rest of her life.
"There is still a lot of unfinished business that state leaders will need to work on to ensure that every Texas child has access to high-quality early learning. Texas still needs to establish basic limits on pre-k class sizes and student-teacher ratios and ensure that there is a long-term funding source for these new education investments. But today we're celebrating this victory and thanking our state leaders for their hard work for Texas kids."