HBA-JEK H.B. 605 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 605 By: George Public Education 4/16/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law requires a school district to offer free prekindergarten classes if the district identifies 15 or more children who are at least three years of age and are unable to speak English, educationally disadvantaged, or homeless. In April 2000, the attorney general of Texas concluded that school districts may not charge prekindergarten tuition, even for a student who is able to speak English, is not educationally disadvantaged, and is not homeless. Charging such students tuition would help districts meet the cost of providing prekindergarten instruction to more students. House Bill 605 authorizes school districts to charge tuition for students who are able to speak English, are not educationally disadvantaged, and are not homeless. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 605 amends the Education Code to authorize a school district to offer tuition-supported prekindergarten classes to children who are not considered disadvantaged and who are at least three years of age on September 1. The bill prohibits a school district from charging a tuition rate higher than the amount necessary to cover the program's costs. The bill also prohibits a district from charging tuition for prekindergarten classes offered to children who are educationally disadvantaged, unable to speak or comprehend English, or homeless. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001. The Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002 school year.