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. 1-5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 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: 3-27 Sec. 302.006. PROFESSIONAL CHILD-CARE TRAINING SCHOLARSHIPS, 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: 5-25 SUBCHAPTER T. EARLY CHILDHOOD CHILD-CARE WORKER 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. 8-17 Sec. 61.876. AMOUNT OF REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE; LIMITATIONS. 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.