Governor signs prekindergarten education bill

Texas House of Representatives Representatives gather on the House floor at the Texas Capitol on May 14.[/caption]

Gov. Greg Abbott signed prekindergarten education bill HB 4 on May 28 during an event at Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center in Austin.

“The time has come for the state of Texas to become No. 1 in the nation for education,” Gov. Abbott said in a news release.

The bill, co-authored by Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, and Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, will implement high-quality education standards for pre-K students throughout the state of Texas. At the May 28 event, Abbott also signed three other education proposals: SB 934, filed by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham and Rep. Marsha Farney, R-Georgetown; SB 935, filed by Kolkhorst and Joseph Deshotel, D-Beaumont; and SB 972, filed by Kolkhorst and Deshotel.

“By signing these bills, we are providing our education system with the tools and resources necessary to build the strongest possible foundation for our early education programs and subsequently, Texas’ future," Abbott said.

HB 4 will require teachers to incorporate Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines into their curriculum and keep track of their progress to meet the learning outcomes. School districts will also be required to develop plans to engage families and get them involved in students’ education early.

Other education bills

On May 11, Gov. Abbott signed SB 149 into law. The legislation will establish committees to determine if students who pass classes but fail state tests can graduate.

At the Capitol: House floor, May 14, 2015 Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, moved to postpone consideration of HB 1759 at a May 14 meeting at the Capitol.[/caption]

Other education bills have stalled. At a May 14 House meeting, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, moved to postpone consideration of HB 1759—the school finance bill he co-authored—until July 4.

As a result, any school finance changes would have to come from general appropriations bill HB 1, according to Aycock’s staff.

Chambers of commerce, school boards and superintendents have voiced support for HB 1759, with a May 6 rally at the Capitol praising the House’s version of an education budget allocating $3 billion for education. The Senate’s version allocates about $1.4 billion.


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