House Public Education Committee on House Bill 173

Testimony to the House Public Education Committee

I am here today to testify for HB 173. Representative Alvarado recognizes that the state lacks data on its pre-K programs, and as a result, we do not have an accurate picture of the current situation in Texas, or needs that should be addressed. A recent pre-K report by the University of Virginia, commissioned by Raise Your Hand Texas, states that the lack of data makes accountability nearly impossible, and that Texas needs a solid plan for gathering demographic and program-level information. I appreciate that this bill would apply to all districts with a pre-K program, to provide more complete data, and make it more possible to improve our system as a whole.

Most of us agree that Texas must improve the quality of it pre-K programs, but it is difficult to do without accurate data. Class sizes and ratios are key indicators of quality, so gathering this information will help the Texas Education Agency (TEA) better understand the extent to which districts are out of sync with best practices.

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