Early education is one of our top priorities, and, happily, Governor Greg Abbott feels the same way.
By signing House Bill 4 into law on May 28, he created a program that will distribute up to $130 million worth of grants to school districts that meet certain requirements in regard to certified teachers and state-approved curriculum. Eligible school districts will bolster their draw of students from low-income, non-English speaking, foster, and military families.
According to Abbott, this law will establish a "high-quality, accountable Pre-K program in Texas."
This excites us, because we know the facts all too well:
Two-thirds of America's children living in poverty have no books at home. (Reading is Fundamental) In Texas, one in four preschoolers never gets read to, and by the time they start kindergarten, they're already well behind their classmates. (The Annie E. Casey Foundation) But it doesn't have to be this way . . .
Research demonstrates that high-quality pre-K increases a child's chances of succeeding in school and in life. Children who attend high-quality programs are less likely to be held back a grade, less likely to need special education, and more likely to graduate from high school. They also have higher earnings as adults and are less likely to become dependent on welfare or involved with law enforcement. (The PEW Charitable Trusts)