By: Bivins S.B. No. 955 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT 1-1 relating to grants in support of pre-reading instruction. 1-2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-3 SECTION 1. Subchapter E, Chapter 29, Education Code, is 1-4 amended by adding Section 29.155 to read as follows: 1-5 Sec. 29.155. READY TO READ GRANTS. (a) From funds 1-6 appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall make grants as 1-7 provided by this section in support of pre-reading instruction. 1-8 (b) The commissioner shall establish a competitive grant 1-9 program for distribution of at least 95 percent of the available 1-10 appropriated funds. Grants shall be used to provide scientific, 1-11 research-based pre-reading instruction for the purpose of directly 1-12 improving pre-reading skills and for identifying cost-effective 1-13 models for pre-reading intervention. The commissioner shall 1-14 distribute the grants in amounts not less than $50,000 or more than 1-15 $150,000 to eligible entities to be used for: 1-16 (1) professional staff development in pre-reading 1-17 instruction; 1-18 (2) pre-reading curriculum and materials; 1-19 (3) pre-reading skills assessment materials; and 1-20 (4) employment of pre-reading instructors. 1-21 (c) A public school operating a prekindergarten program, or 1-22 another eligible entity as defined in Section 12.101(a) that 1-23 provides a preschool instruction program and that meets 1-24 qualifications prescribed by the commissioner, is eligible to apply 2-1 for a grant if at least 75 percent of the children enrolled in the 2-2 program are low-income students, as determined by rule of the 2-3 commissioner. 2-4 (d) As a condition to receiving a grant, an applicant must 2-5 commit public or private funds matching the grant in a percentage 2-6 set by the commissioner. The commissioner shall determine the 2-7 required percentage of matching funds based on the demonstrated 2-8 economic capacity of the community served by the program to raise 2-9 funds for the purpose of matching the grant, as determined by the 2-10 commissioner. Matching funds must equal at least 30 percent, but 2-11 not more than 75 percent, of the amount of the grant. 2-12 (e) The commissioner shall develop and implement performance 2-13 measures for evaluating the effectiveness of grants under this 2-14 section. Those measures must correlate to other reading diagnostic 2-15 assessments used in public schools in kindergarten through the 2-16 second grade. 2-17 (f) The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary for the 2-18 administration of this section. 2-19 SECTION 2. To the extent practical, the commissioner of 2-20 education shall administer the grant program established by Section 2-21 29.155, Education Code, as added by this Act, in a manner 2-22 consistent with other reading programs the commissioner identifies 2-23 as components of the governor's reading initiative. 2-24 SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 1999. 2-25 SECTION 4. The importance of this legislation and the 2-26 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 3-1 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 3-2 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 3-3 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.