By Bivins S.B. No. 955 76R8449 KKA-D A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to grants in support of pre-reading instruction. 1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-4 SECTION 1. Subchapter E, Chapter 29, Education Code, is 1-5 amended by adding Section 29.155 to read as follows: 1-6 Sec. 29.155. READY TO READ GRANTS. (a) From funds 1-7 appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall make grants as 1-8 provided by this section in support of pre-reading instruction. 1-9 (b) The commissioner shall establish a competitive grant 1-10 program for distribution of at least 95 percent of the available 1-11 appropriated funds. Grants shall be used to provide scientific, 1-12 research-based pre-reading instruction for the purpose of directly 1-13 improving pre-reading skills and for identifying cost-effective 1-14 models for pre-reading intervention. The commissioner shall 1-15 distribute the grants in amounts not less than $50,000 or more than 1-16 $150,000 to eligible entities to be used for: 1-17 (1) professional staff development in pre-reading 1-18 instruction; 1-19 (2) pre-reading curriculum and materials; 1-20 (3) pre-reading skills assessment materials; and 1-21 (4) employment of pre-reading instructors. 1-22 (c) A public school operating a prekindergarten program, or 1-23 another public or private entity that provides a preschool 1-24 instruction program and that meets qualifications prescribed by 2-1 the commissioner, is eligible to apply for a grant if at least 75 2-2 percent of the children enrolled in the program are low-income 2-3 students, as determined by rule of the 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 (g) Of funds appropriated for the making of grants under 2-20 this section, the commissioner may expend not more than three 2-21 percent for administration of the grant program in the first fiscal 2-22 year and not more than one percent in each fiscal year thereafter. 2-23 In addition, of the funds appropriated for grants under this 2-24 section the commissioner may expend not more than two percent in 2-25 the first fiscal year for evaluation of the program and not more 2-26 than four percent in each fiscal year thereafter. 2-27 SECTION 2. To the extent practical, the commissioner of 3-1 education shall administer the grant program established by Section 3-2 29.155, Education Code, as added by this Act, in a manner 3-3 consistent with other reading programs the commissioner identifies 3-4 as components of the governor's reading initiative. 3-5 SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 1999. 3-6 SECTION 4. The importance of this legislation and the 3-7 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 3-8 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 3-9 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 3-10 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.