By Bivins                                              S.B. No. 955
         Substitute the following for S.B. No. 955:
         By Sadler                                          C.S.S.B. No. 955
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to pre-reading instruction and the provision of
 1-3     scholarships, bonuses, wage supplementation, and student loan
 1-4     repayment assistance for certain professional child-care workers.
 1-6           SECTION 1.  Subchapter E, Chapter 29, Education Code, is
 1-7     amended by adding Section 29.155 to read as follows:
 1-8           Sec. 29.155.  READY TO READ GRANTS.  (a)  From funds
 1-9     appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall make grants as
1-10     provided by this section in support of pre-reading instruction.
1-11           (b)  The commissioner shall establish a competitive grant
1-12     program for distribution of at least 95 percent of the available
1-13     appropriated funds.  Grants shall be used to provide scientific,
1-14     research-based pre-reading instruction for the purpose of directly
1-15     improving pre-reading skills and for identifying cost-effective
1-16     models for pre-reading intervention.  The commissioner shall
1-17     distribute the grants in amounts not less than $50,000 or more than
1-18     $150,000 to eligible applicants to be used for:
1-19                 (1)  professional staff development in pre-reading
1-20     instruction;
1-21                 (2)  pre-reading curriculum and materials;
1-22                 (3)  pre-reading skills assessment materials; and
1-23                 (4)  employment of pre-reading instructors.
 2-1           (c)  A public school operating a prekindergarten program, or
 2-2     an eligible entity as defined by Section 12.101(a) that provides a
 2-3     preschool instruction program and that meets qualifications
 2-4     prescribed by the commissioner, is eligible to apply for a grant if
 2-5     at least 75 percent of the children enrolled in the program are
 2-6     low-income students, as determined by rule of the commissioner.
 2-7           (d)  As a condition to receiving a grant, an applicant must
 2-8     commit public or private funds matching the grant in a percentage
 2-9     set by the commissioner.  The commissioner shall determine the
2-10     required percentage of matching funds based on the demonstrated
2-11     economic capacity of the community served by the program to raise
2-12     funds for the purpose of matching the grant, as determined by the
2-13     commissioner.  Matching funds must equal at least 30 percent, but
2-14     not more than 75 percent, of the amount of the grant.
2-15           (e)  The commissioner shall develop and implement performance
2-16     measures for evaluating the effectiveness of grants under this
2-17     section.  Those measures must correlate to other reading diagnostic
2-18     assessments used in public schools in kindergarten through the
2-19     second grade.
2-20           (f)  The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary for the
2-21     administration of this section.
2-22           SECTION 2.  Subtitle B, Title 3, Human Resources Code, is
2-23     amended by adding Chapter 72 to read as follows:
2-24                      CHAPTER 72.  HEAD START PROGRAMS
2-25           Sec. 72.001.  DEFINITION.  In this chapter, "Head Start
2-26     program" means the federal program established under the Head Start
2-27     Act (42 U.S.C.  Section 9831 et seq.) and its subsequent
 3-1     amendments.
 3-2           Sec. 72.002.  EDUCATIONAL SERVICES.  To promote the
 3-3     comprehensive health, safety, and well-being of children receiving
 3-4     child care through Head Start programs, a program provider shall
 3-5     provide educational services to children participating in the
 3-6     program so that each child is prepared to enter school and is ready
 3-7     to learn after completing the program.  The educational services
 3-8     provided must include components designed to enable a child to:
 3-9                 (1)  develop phonemic, print, and numeracy awareness,
3-10     including the ability to:
3-11                       (A)  recognize that letters of the alphabet are a
3-12     special category of visual graphics that can be individually named;
3-13                       (B)  recognize a word as a unit of print;
3-14                       (C)  identify at least 10 letters of the
3-15     alphabet; and
3-16                       (D)  associate sounds with written words;
3-17                 (2)  understand and use language to communicate for
3-18     various purposes;
3-19                 (3)  understand and use an increasingly complex and
3-20     varied vocabulary;
3-21                 (4)  develop and demonstrate an appreciation of books;
3-22     and
3-23                 (5)  progress toward mastery of the English language,
3-24     if the child's primary language is a language other than English.
3-25           SECTION 3.  Subchapter A, Chapter 302, Labor Code, is amended
3-26     by adding Section 302.006 to read as follows:
 4-1     BONUSES, AND WAGE SUPPLEMENTATION.  (a)  The commission shall
 4-2     develop and administer a program under which the commission awards
 4-3     scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each for professional
 4-4     child-care training to eligible recipients.
 4-5           (b)  A recipient may use a scholarship awarded under this
 4-6     section only to pay expenses associated with obtaining:
 4-7                 (1)  Child Development Associate (CDA) national
 4-8     credentials;
 4-9                 (2)  Certified Child-Care Professional (CCP)
4-10     credentials; or
4-11                 (3)  a level one certificate or associate's degree in
4-12     the area of child development or early childhood education from a
4-13     public or private institution of higher education.
4-14           (c)  To be eligible to receive a scholarship awarded under
4-15     this section, a person must:
4-16                 (1)  be employed in a child-care facility, as defined
4-17     by Section 42.002, Human Resources Code;
4-18                 (2)  intend to obtain a credential, certificate, or
4-19     degree specified in Subsection (b);
4-20                 (3)  agree to work in a child-care facility, as defined
4-21     by Section 42.002, Human Resources Code, for at least 18 additional
4-22     months; and
4-23                 (4)  satisfy any other requirements adopted by the
4-24     commission.
4-25           (d)  A person may not receive more than one scholarship
4-26     awarded under this section.
4-27           (e)  In addition, the commission may provide for payment of a
 5-1     bonus or wage supplementation to a scholarship recipient who for 18
 5-2     months after the date of receiving the scholarship provides care
 5-3     for children younger than six years of age while remaining in the
 5-4     employment of the child-care facility that employed the person when
 5-5     the scholarship was awarded.  Any bonus or wage supplementation
 5-6     provided under this subsection shall be paid in equal shares by the
 5-7     scholarship recipient's employer and the commission.  The
 5-8     commission shall determine the amount of any bonus and the amount
 5-9     and duration of any wage supplementation provided under this
5-10     subsection.
5-11           (f)  The commission shall fund scholarships and any bonuses
5-12     or wage supplementation provided under this section through federal
5-13     Child Care Development funds or other funding sources available to
5-14     the commission.  Total funding may not exceed $2 million per state
5-15     biennium.
5-16           (g)  The commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement
5-17     this section.  The rules must include provisions that:
5-18                 (1)  address the computation of the 18-month service
5-19     requirement prescribed by Subsection (c); and
5-20                 (2)  ensure that the commission may recover scholarship
5-21     money from a recipient who fails to comply with that service
5-22     requirement or any other requirement imposed by the commission.
5-23           SECTION 4.  Chapter 61, Education Code, is amended by adding
5-24     Subchapter T to read as follows:
5-26                       STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM
5-27           Sec. 61.871.  DEFINITIONS.  In this subchapter:
 6-1                 (1)  "Child-care facility" has the meaning assigned by
 6-2     Section 42.002, Human Resources Code.
 6-3                 (2)  "Early childhood child-care worker" means a person
 6-4     who works more than 30 hours a week in a child-care facility,
 6-5     whether as an employee, owner, or volunteer, and whose duties
 6-6     consist primarily of providing child care or education to children
 6-7     less than four years of age.
 6-8           Sec. 61.872.  LOAN REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE AUTHORIZED.  The
 6-9     board shall provide, in accordance with this subchapter and board
6-10     rules, assistance in the repayment of eligible student loans for
6-11     persons who apply and qualify for the assistance.
6-12           Sec. 61.873.  ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSISTANCE.  To be eligible to
6-13     receive loan repayment assistance under this subchapter, a person
6-14     must:
6-15                 (1)  hold an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate
6-16     degree in early childhood development or the equivalent from a
6-17     public or private institution of higher education accredited by a
6-18     recognized accrediting agency; and
6-19                 (2)  enter into an agreement to serve as an early
6-20     childhood child-care worker as provided by Section 61.875.
6-21           Sec. 61.874.  ELIGIBLE LOANS.  (a)  A person may receive loan
6-22     repayment assistance under this subchapter for the repayment of any
6-23     student loan for education at any public or private institution of
6-24     higher education through any lender.  If the loan is not a state or
6-25     federal guaranteed student loan, the note or other writing
6-26     governing the terms of the loan must require the loan proceeds to
6-27     be used for expenses incurred by a person attending any public or
 7-1     private institution of higher education.
 7-2           (b)  The board may not provide repayment assistance for a
 7-3     student loan that is in default at the time of the person's
 7-4     application.
 7-5           Sec. 61.875.  AGREEMENT; TERMS.  (a)  To qualify for loan
 7-6     repayment assistance under this subchapter, a person must enter
 7-7     into a written agreement with the board as provided by this
 7-8     subchapter.  The agreement must specify the conditions the person
 7-9     must satisfy to receive repayment assistance.
7-10           (b)  To be eligible for loan repayment assistance, a person
7-11     must agree to serve at least two years as an early childhood
7-12     child-care worker in this state.  A person may receive loan
7-13     repayment assistance for additional years of service as specified
7-14     in the agreement.
7-15           (c)  The agreement must specify the number of additional
7-16     years of service for which the person may receive repayment
7-17     assistance and the period within which the person must complete
7-18     those years of additional service.
7-19           (d)  Only service as an early childhood child-care worker
7-20     after the date the person enters into the agreement may be used to
7-21     satisfy the service requirement under the agreement.
7-22           (e)  The person must complete the initial service obligation
7-23     within three years of the date of the agreement unless the board
7-24     grants the person additional time to begin fulfilling the initial
7-25     service obligation.  The board shall grant the person additional
7-26     time to complete the service obligation for good cause.
7-27           (f)  The board shall cancel a person's service obligation if
 8-1     the board determines that the person:
 8-2                 (1)  has become permanently disabled so that the person
 8-3     is not able to work as an early childhood child-care worker; or
 8-4                 (2)  has died.
 8-5           (g)  The board shall require a person who receives loan
 8-6     repayment assistance under this subchapter to sign an agreement in
 8-7     the nature of a contract under which the person agrees to perform
 8-8     the required years of service.  In the event the person does not
 8-9     fulfill the terms of the agreement, all loan repayment assistance
8-10     paid on behalf of the person becomes a loan and must be repaid.
8-11     The agreement must include a promissory note acknowledging the
8-12     conditional nature of the loan repayment assistance and promising
8-13     to repay the amount of the loan repayment, applicable interest, and
8-14     reasonable collection costs if the person does not satisfy the
8-15     applicable conditions.  The board shall determine the terms of the
8-16     promissory note.
8-18     (a)  For each year that a qualified person serves as an early
8-19     childhood child-care worker in this state under an agreement under
8-20     Section 61.875, the person may receive loan repayment assistance in
8-21     an amount not to exceed 15 percent of the total amount of the
8-22     person's outstanding student loans, including scheduled interest
8-23     payments that would become due if the loan is not prepaid, when the
8-24     person enters into the agreement.  The amount of repayment
8-25     assistance paid for a year may not exceed the lesser of:
8-26                 (1)  the actual amount of the loan payments the person
8-27     receiving the assistance is required to make for that year; or
 9-1                 (2)  an amount set by the board equal to the maximum
 9-2     amount of resident tuition and required fees paid by a person
 9-3     enrolled as a full-time student at a general academic teaching
 9-4     institution for the most recent academic year, excluding summer
 9-5     sessions.
 9-6           (b)  The board may enter into an agreement to provide loan
 9-7     repayment assistance under Section 61.875 only to the extent money
 9-8     is appropriated or otherwise available to provide the repayment
 9-9     assistance as it becomes payable.  If that money will not be
9-10     sufficient to provide repayment assistance to each eligible
9-11     applicant, the board shall select persons to receive repayment
9-12     assistance from the eligible applicants according to financial need
9-13     or on another basis the board considers reasonable to further the
9-14     purposes of this subchapter.
9-15           (c)  The board may determine the manner in which the loan
9-16     repayment assistance is to be paid and shall include provisions
9-17     governing the manner of repayment in the agreement.  The board may
9-18     provide for the payment of a portion of the repayment assistance in
9-19     one or more installments before the person completes a full year of
9-20     service as an early childhood child-care worker and for the payment
9-21     of the remainder of the repayment assistance for that year after
9-22     the completion of the full year of service.
9-23           Sec. 61.877.  ADMINISTRATION; RULES.  (a)  The board shall
9-24     adopt rules necessary for the administration of this subchapter.
9-25           (b)  The board shall distribute a copy of the rules adopted
9-26     under this section and pertinent information in this subchapter to
9-27     each public or private institution of higher education in this
 10-1    state that offers a degree program in early childhood development
 10-2    or an equivalent degree.
 10-3          Sec. 61.878.  FUNDING.  The board may solicit and accept
 10-4    gifts, grants, and donations from any public or private source for
 10-5    the purposes of this subchapter.
 10-6          SECTION 5.  To the extent practical, the commissioner of
 10-7    education shall administer the grant program established by Section
 10-8    29.155, Education Code, as added by this Act, in a manner
 10-9    consistent with other reading programs the commissioner identifies
10-10    as components of the governor's reading initiative.
10-11          SECTION 6.  (a)  Subchapter T, Chapter 61, Education Code, as
10-12    added by this Act, takes effect immediately and applies beginning
10-13    with the 1999 fall semester.
10-14          (b)  Section 29.155, Education Code, and Section 302.006,
10-15    Labor Code, as added by this Act, take effect September 1, 1999.
10-16          SECTION 7.  The importance of this legislation and the
10-17    crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
10-18    emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
10-19    constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
10-20    days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
10-21    and that this Act take effect and be in force according to its
10-22    terms, and it is so enacted.