1-1     relating to pre-reading instruction for certain children.
 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 applicants 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     an eligible entity as defined by Section 12.101(a) that provides a
1-23     preschool instruction program and that meets qualifications
1-24     prescribed by the commissioner, is eligible to apply for a grant if
 2-1     at least 75 percent of the children enrolled in the program are
 2-2     low-income students, as determined by rule of the commissioner.
 2-3           (d)  As a condition to receiving a grant, an applicant must
 2-4     commit public or private funds matching the grant in a percentage
 2-5     set by the commissioner. The commissioner shall determine the
 2-6     required percentage of matching funds based on the demonstrated
 2-7     economic capacity of the community served by the program to raise
 2-8     funds for the purpose of matching the grant, as determined by the
 2-9     commissioner.  Matching funds must equal at least 30 percent, but
2-10     not more than 75 percent, of the amount of the grant.
2-11           (e)  The commissioner shall develop and implement performance
2-12     measures for evaluating the effectiveness of grants under this
2-13     section.  Those measures must correlate to other reading diagnostic
2-14     assessments used in public schools in kindergarten through the
2-15     second grade.
2-16           (f)  The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary for the
2-17     administration of this section.
2-18           SECTION 2.  Subtitle B, Title 3, Human Resources Code, is
2-19     amended by adding Chapter 72 to read as follows:
2-20                      CHAPTER 72.  HEAD START PROGRAMS
2-21           Sec. 72.001.  DEFINITION.  In this chapter, "Head Start
2-22     program" means the federal program established under the Head Start
2-23     Act (42 U.S.C. Section 9831 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments.
2-24           Sec. 72.002.  EDUCATIONAL SERVICES.  To promote the
2-25     comprehensive health, safety, and well-being of children receiving
2-26     child care through Head Start programs, a program provider shall
 3-1     provide educational services to children participating in the
 3-2     program so that each child is prepared to enter school and is ready
 3-3     to learn after completing the program.  The educational services
 3-4     provided must include components designed to enable a child to:
 3-5                 (1)  develop phonemic, print, and numeracy awareness,
 3-6     including the ability to:
 3-7                       (A)  recognize that letters of the alphabet are a
 3-8     special category of visual graphics that can be individually named;
 3-9                       (B)  recognize a word as a unit of print;
3-10                       (C)  identify at least 10 letters of the
3-11     alphabet; and
3-12                       (D)  associate sounds with written words;
3-13                 (2)  understand and use language to communicate for
3-14     various purposes;
3-15                 (3)  understand and use an increasingly complex and
3-16     varied vocabulary;
3-17                 (4)  develop and demonstrate an appreciation of books;
3-18     and
3-19                 (5)  progress toward mastery of the English language,
3-20     if the child's primary language is a language other than English.
3-21           SECTION 3.  To the extent practical, the commissioner of
3-22     education shall administer the grant program established by Section
3-23     29.155, Education Code, as added by this Act, in a manner
3-24     consistent with other reading programs the commissioner identifies
3-25     as components of the governor's reading initiative.
3-26           SECTION 4.  Section 29.155, Education Code, as added by this
 4-1     Act, takes effect September 1, 1999.
 4-2           SECTION 5.  The importance of this legislation and the
 4-3     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
 4-4     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
 4-5     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
 4-6     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
 4-7     and that this Act take effect and be in force according to its
 4-8     terms, and it is so enacted.
         _______________________________     _______________________________
             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House
               I hereby certify that S.B. No. 955 passed the Senate on
         April 9, 1999, by a viva-voce vote; and that the Senate concurred
         in House amendments on May 29, 1999, by a viva-voce vote.
                                                 Secretary of the Senate
               I hereby certify that S.B. No. 955 passed the House, with
         amendments, on May 26, 1999, by a non-record vote.
                                                 Chief Clerk of the House