By: Huberty, Deshotel, King of Hemphill, H.B. No. 4
      Giddings, Ashby, et al.
  relating to a high quality prekindergarten program provided by
  public school districts.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 8, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 8.058 to read as follows:
  regional education service center may offer to teachers employed by
  school districts the training required to be awarded a Child
  Development Associate (CDA) credential.
         SECTION 2.  Section 12.104(b), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  An open-enrollment charter school is subject to:
               (1)  a provision of this title establishing a criminal
  offense; and
               (2)  a prohibition, restriction, or requirement, as
  applicable, imposed by this title or a rule adopted under this
  title, relating to:
                     (A)  the Public Education Information Management
  System (PEIMS) to the extent necessary to monitor compliance with
  this subchapter as determined by the commissioner;
                     (B)  criminal history records under Subchapter C,
  Chapter 22;
                     (C)  reading instruments and accelerated reading
  instruction programs under Section 28.006;
                     (D)  accelerated instruction under Section
                     (E)  high school graduation requirements under
  Section 28.025;
                     (F)  special education programs under Subchapter
  A, Chapter 29;
                     (G)  bilingual education under Subchapter B,
  Chapter 29;
                     (H)  prekindergarten programs under Subchapter E
  or E-1, Chapter 29;
                     (I)  extracurricular activities under Section
                     (J)  discipline management practices or behavior
  management techniques under Section 37.0021;
                     (K)  health and safety under Chapter 38;
                     (L)  public school accountability under
  Subchapters B, C, D, E, F, G, and J, Chapter 39;
                     (M)  the requirement under Section 21.006 to
  report an educator's misconduct; and
                     (N)  intensive programs of instruction under
  Section 28.0213.
         SECTION 3.  Section 25.001(a), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A person who, on the first day of September of any school
  year, is at least five years of age and under 21 years of age, or is
  at least 21 years of age and under 26 years of age and is admitted by
  a school district to complete the requirements for a high school
  diploma is entitled to the benefits of the available school fund for
  that year.  Any other person enrolled in a prekindergarten class
  under Section 29.153 or Subchapter E-1, Chapter 29, is entitled to
  the benefits of the available school fund.
         SECTION 4.  Chapter 29, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter E-1 to read as follows:
         Sec. 29.164.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "program"
  means a high quality prekindergarten program provided free of
  tuition or fees in accordance with this subchapter.
  funds appropriated for that purpose, the commissioner by rule shall
  establish a funding program under which funds are awarded to school
  districts and open-enrollment charter schools to implement a
  prekindergarten program under this subchapter. Notwithstanding any
  other provision of this subchapter, a prekindergarten program
  implemented under this subchapter may operate on a full-day basis.
         (b)  A school district may participate in and receive funding
  under the program if the district meets all program standards
  required under this subchapter.
         (c)  A program is subject to any other requirements imposed
  by law that apply to a prekindergarten program not provided in
  accordance with this subchapter, except that to the extent a
  conflict exists between this subchapter and any other provision of
  law, this subchapter prevails.
         Sec. 29.166.  HIGH QUALITY PROGRAM FUNDING. (a) A school
  district is eligible for half-day funding under the Foundation
  School Program for each student who satisfies eligibility
  requirements under Section 29.153(b) and who is enrolled in a
  program class.
         (b)  In addition to funding under Subsection (a), a school
  district is entitled to receive funding in an amount determined by
  the commissioner for each qualifying student described under
  Subsection (c) in average daily attendance in a program class. The
  commissioner may not establish an amount of funding per qualifying
  student under this subsection that exceeds $1,500.
         (c)  A student qualifies for additional funding under
  Subsection (b) if the student:
               (1)  satisfies eligibility requirements under Section
  29.153(b); and
               (2)  is four years of age on September 1 of the year the
  student begins the program.
         (d)  A school district that receives the funding under
  Subsection (b) may use the funding only to improve the quality of
  the district's prekindergarten programs.
         (e)  The total amount of funding distributed to school
  districts under Subsection (b) for the state fiscal biennium ending
  August 31, 2017, may not exceed the greater of:
               (1)  $130 million; or
               (2)  the amount of the appropriation provided for the
  prekindergarten program under this subchapter in H.B. No. 1, Acts
  of the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, as enacted.
  REQUIREMENTS. (a) A school district shall select and implement a
  curriculum for a prekindergarten program under this subchapter
               (1)  includes the prekindergarten guidelines
  established by the agency;
               (2)  measures the progress of students in meeting the
  recommended learning outcomes; and
               (3)  does not use national curriculum standards
  developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
         (b)  Each teacher for a prekindergarten program class must:
               (1)  be certified under Subchapter B, Chapter 21; and
               (2)  have one of the following additional
                     (A)  a Child Development Associate (CDA)
                     (B)  certification offered through a training
  center associated with Association Montessori Internationale or
  through the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher
                     (C)  at least eight years' experience of teaching
  in a nationally accredited child care program; or
                     (D)  an equivalent qualification.
         (c)  A school district may allow a teacher employed by the
  district to receive the training required to be awarded a Child
  Development Associate (CDA) credential from a regional education
  service center that offers the training in accordance with Section
         Sec. 29.168.  FAMILY ENGAGEMENT PLAN. (a) A school district
  shall develop and implement a family engagement plan to assist the
  district in achieving and maintaining high levels of family
  involvement and positive family attitudes toward education. The
  family engagement plan must be based on family engagement
  strategies established under Subsection (b).
         (b)  The agency shall collaborate with other state agencies,
  including the Health and Human Services Commission, that provide
  services for children from birth through five years of age to
  establish prioritized family engagement strategies to be included
  in a school district's family engagement plan. A parent-teacher
  organization, community group, or faith-based institution may
  submit to the agency recommendations regarding the establishment of
  family engagement strategies, and the agency, in establishing the
  family engagement strategies, shall consider any received
  recommendations. The engagement strategies must be:
               (1)  based on empirical research; and
               (2)  proven to demonstrate significant positive
  short-term and long-term outcomes for early childhood education.
         Sec. 29.169.  PROGRAM EVALUATION. (a) A school district
               (1)  select and implement appropriate methods for
  evaluating the district's program classes by measuring student
  progress; and
               (2)  make data from the results of program evaluations
  available to parents.
         (b)  A school district may administer diagnostic assessments
  to students in a program class to evaluate student progress as
  required by Subsection (a) but may not administer a state
  standardized assessment instrument.
         (c)  An assessment instrument administered to a
  prekindergarten program class must be selected from a list of
  appropriate prekindergarten assessment instruments identified by
  the commissioner.
         Sec. 29.170.  PROGRAM FUNDING EVALUATION.  (a)  The
  commissioner shall evaluate the use and effectiveness of funding
  provided under this subchapter in improving student learning.  The
  commissioner shall identify effective instruction strategies
  implemented by school districts under this subchapter.
         (b)  Beginning in 2018, not later than December 1 of each
  even-numbered year, the commissioner shall deliver a report to the
  legislature containing the results of the evaluation.
         (c)  This section expires December 31, 2024.
  addition to information reported under Section 29.1532(c), a school
  district that offers a prekindergarten program under this
  subchapter shall include the following information in the
  district's Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS)
               (1)  the class size and ratio of instructional staff to
  students for each prekindergarten program class offered by the
               (2)  each type of assessment instrument administered to
  students enrolled in district prekindergarten program classes and
  the results of each type of assessment instrument;
               (3)  student demographic information for the district's
  prekindergarten program classes;
               (4)  funding sources for the district's prekindergarten
  program classes; and
               (5)  curricula used in the district's prekindergarten
  program classes.
         Sec. 29.172.  ELIGIBLE PRIVATE PROVIDERS. (a)  A school
  district participating in the program under this subchapter may
  enter into a contract with an eligible private provider to provide
  services or equipment for the program.
         (b)  To be eligible to contract with a school district to
  provide a program or part of a program, a private provider must be
  licensed by and in good standing with the Department of Family and
  Protective Services. For purposes of this section, a private
  provider is in good standing with the Department of Family and
  Protective Services if the department has not taken an action
  against the provider's license under Section 42.071, 42.072, or
  42.078, Human Resources Code, during the 24-month period preceding
  the date of a contract with a school district.  The private provider
  must also:
               (1)  be accredited by a research-based, nationally
  recognized, and universally accessible accreditation system
  approved by the commissioner;
               (2)  be a Texas Rising Star Program provider with a
  three-star certification or higher;
               (3)  be a Texas School Ready! participant;
               (4)  have an existing partnership with a school
  district to provide a prekindergarten program not provided under
  this subchapter; or
               (5)  be accredited by an organization that is
  recognized by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission.
         (c)  A prekindergarten program provided by a private
  provider under this section is subject to the requirements of this
         Sec. 29.173.  RULES. The commissioner may adopt rules
  necessary to implement this subchapter.
         SECTION 5.  Section 42.003(b), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  A student to whom Subsection (a) does not apply is
  entitled to the benefits of the Foundation School Program if the
  student is enrolled in a prekindergarten class under Section 29.153
  or Subchapter E-1, Chapter 29.
         SECTION 6.  (a)  Section 29.167(b), Education Code, as added
  by this Act, requiring a prekindergarten teacher to have been
  awarded a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, applies
  beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (a) of this section,
  this Act applies beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.