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Trace: at MMR_Render.Press_Release.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) House Passes Rep. Villarreal's Pre-K Legislation - News from Mike - Representative Mike Villarreal - District 123 San Antonio

House Passes Rep. Villarreal's Pre-K Legislation

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Bill Would Increase Outreach and Enrollment
Austin - The Texas House of Representatives approved legislation today seeking to enroll more eligible children into public pre-kindergarten programs.  The goal of House Bill 136 by Rep. Mike Villarreal is to ensure that more children start kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed in school rather than falling behind their classmates from day one.
"All the research tells us pre-k can give a powerful lifelong boost to young children, but there are too many parents that don't know their children qualify for public pre-k," explained Rep. Villarreal.
The bill seeks to improve information sharing between school districts regarding effective strategies for notifying the public about pre-k.  Currently, many school districts are unaware of what strategies are working in other districts.  Under this legislation, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will collect information on best practices, including collaboration with community organizations, and share their findings with school officials. Districts will report to TEA on their implementation of pre-k outreach strategies.  Additionally, the bill directs TEA to collaborate with other agencies to include pre-k information in existing communications with families about public assistance and other programs.
"Parents know their five-year-old should start kindergarten, but it turns out that many don't know their four-year-old may qualify for pre-k," said Rep. Villarreal.  "By informing parents of the pre-k option we can help more students thrive in school, graduate from high school, and go on to college."