By Giddings H.B. No. 2609
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to prekindergarten programs for public school students.
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 amending Section 29.153 and adding Sections 29.1531 and
1-6 29.1532 to read as follows:
1-7 Sec. 29.153. FREE PREKINDERGARTEN FOR CERTAIN CHILDREN. (a)
1-8 A [
Any school district may offer prekindergarten classes, but a]
1-9 district shall offer prekindergarten classes if the district
1-10 identifies 15 or more [ eligible] children who are eligible under
1-11 Subsection (b) and are at least four years of age. A school
1-12 district may offer prekindergarten classes if the district
1-13 identifies 15 or more eligible children who are at least three
1-14 years of age. A district may not charge tuition for a
1-15 prekindergarten class offered under this section.
1-16 (b) A child is eligible for enrollment in a prekindergarten
1-17 class under this section if the child is at least three years of
1-18 age and is:
1-19 (1) unable to speak and comprehend the English
1-21 (2) educationally disadvantaged; or
1-22 (3) homeless, as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11302,
1-23 regardless of the residence of the child, of either parent of the
1-24 child, or of the child's guardian or other person having lawful
2-1 control of the child.
2-2 (c) A prekindergarten class under this section shall be
2-3 operated on a half-day basis. A district is not required to
2-4 provide transportation for a prekindergarten class, but
2-5 transportation, if provided, is included for funding purposes as
2-6 part of the regular transportation system.
2-7 (d) On application of a district, the commissioner may
2-8 exempt a district from the application of this section if the
2-9 district would be required to construct classroom facilities in
2-10 order to provide prekindergarten classes.
2-11 (e) Each school district shall develop a system to notify
2-12 the population in the district with children who are eligible for
2-13 enrollment in a prekindergarten class under this section of the
2-14 availability of the class. The system must include public notices
2-15 issued in English and Spanish.
2-16 Sec. 29.1531. TUITION-SUPPORTED PREKINDERGARTEN. (a) A
2-17 school district may offer on a tuition basis:
2-18 (1) an additional half-day of prekindergarten classes
2-19 to children eligible for classes under Section 29.153; and
2-20 (2) half-day and full-day prekindergarten classes to
2-21 children not eligible for classes under Section 29.153.
2-22 (b) A district that offers a prekindergarten program on a
2-23 tuition basis may not adopt a tuition rate for the program that is
2-24 higher than necessary to cover the added costs of providing the
2-26 Sec. 29.1532. PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.
2-27 (a) [ (f)] A school district's prekindergarten program shall be
3-1 designed to develop skills necessary for success in the regular
3-2 public school curriculum, including language, mathematics, and
3-3 social skills.
3-4 (b) [ (g)] If a school district contracts with a private
3-5 entity for the operation of the district's prekindergarten program,
3-6 the program must at a minimum comply with the applicable child-care
3-7 licensing standards adopted by the Department of Protective and
3-8 Regulatory Services under Section 42.042, Human Resources Code.
3-9 (c) A school district that offers prekindergarten classes
3-10 shall include the following information in the district's Public
3-11 Education Information Management System (PEIMS) report:
3-12 (1) demographic information, as determined by the
3-13 commissioner, on students enrolled in district prekindergarten
3-14 classes, including the number of students who are eligible for
3-15 classes under Section 29.153;
3-16 (2) the numbers of half-day and full-day
3-17 prekindergarten classes offered by the district; and
3-18 (3) the sources of funding for the prekindergarten
3-20 SECTION 2. Section 29.154, Education Code, is amended to read
3-21 as follows:
3-22 Sec. 29.154. EVALUATION OF PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS. (a)
3-23 The commissioner of education, in consultation with the
3-24 commissioner of human services, shall monitor and evaluate
3-25 prekindergarten programs as to their developmental appropriateness.
3-26 The commissioners shall also evaluate the potential for
3-27 coordination on a statewide basis of prekindergarten programs with
4-1 government-funded early childhood care and education programs such
4-2 as child care administered under Chapter 44, Human Resources Code,
4-3 and federal Head Start programs. That evaluation shall use
4-4 recommendations contained in the report to the 71st Legislature
4-5 required by Chapter 717, Acts of the 70th Legislature, Regular
4-6 Session, 1987. For the purpose of providing cost-effective care
4-7 for children during the full workday with developmentally
4-8 appropriate curriculum, the commissioners shall investigate the use
4-9 of existing child-care program sites as prekindergarten sites.
4-10 Following the evaluation required by this subsection [ section], the
4-11 commissioners, in cooperation with school districts and other
4-12 program administrators, shall integrate programs, staff, and
4-13 program sites for prekindergarten, child-care, and federal Head
4-14 Start programs to the greatest extent possible.
4-15 (b) The agency, in cooperation with the Texas Department of
4-16 Human Services, federal Head Start programs, and other providers of
4-17 prekindergarten programs in this state receiving state and federal
4-18 funds, shall develop indicators for the evaluation of
4-19 prekindergarten programs. Using the indicators adopted under this
4-20 subsection, the agency shall review all school district
4-21 prekindergarten programs that receive state or federal funds. A
4-22 review under this subsection shall be performed as part of the
4-23 accreditation review of the district under Subchapter D, Chapter
4-25 SECTION 3. This Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002
4-26 school year.
4-27 SECTION 4. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
5-1 a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
5-2 provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
5-3 Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
5-4 Act takes effect September 1, 2001.