Testimony to the House Public Education Committee on HB 1188
I am here today to testify on HB 1188, and appreciate that Rep. Deshotel recognizes that Texas’ early childhood education system is fragmented. Currently, Texas has five separate public funding streams and accountability authority dispersed among six separate entities, with no agency to drive coordination or ensure accountability of these efforts.
Recommended changes to strengthen the bill.
HB 1188 recognizes early childhood as birth through age five, however, most early childhood development experts agree that early childhood extends until age eight. To help create a continuum of services for children and families during these important years of a child's life, we recommend that this interim study address all of the early childhood years.
HB 1188 places an emphasis on the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), but key early childhood functions of child care licensing and education are also housed at the Department of Family and Protective Services, and the Texas Education Agency. These agencies are not mentioned in the bill. Without a review of these agency functions, the Committee will not get the complete view of early education.