Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Name That Party: Lawmaker pushes for "changes" to pre-K program


A bill sponsored by State Representative Sergio Munoz Jr. is offering parents a solution to a problem they've been facing for many years.
He’s part of a push for free early education, and some parents and school administrators say it’s long overdue.
“Mothers, especially like the single mothers, it would really help because they have to pay whether it's food or to get into a good school,” valley resident Gloria Cruz said.
Cruz is talking about House Bill 391.
If approved during the upcoming legislative session, it would require school districts across the state to expand pre-kindergarten classed from half a day to full day.
It’s something many school districts do not offer.
Currently, students must meet certain requirements, such as house-hold income and whether or not English is their first language.
"We need to have high quality Pre-K programs," George McShan, a trustee on the school board in Harlingen, explained.
McShan agrees with the bill.
Many parents cannot afford to put their child in school even half day, so they turn to other options, according to the school board member.
"They elect not to do so, so they are in daycares. Our grandparents, or caretakers. So children are not getting the education they really deserve early on,” McShan added.
He also said research proves children going to prekindergarten will close an achievement gap and prepare them to succeed in life.
"Effective Pre-K programs will have certain elements. That means you will have a professional staff development for teachers, standards and curriculum,” McShan said. “We need to make sure we look at the data.”
The 84th Texas legislative session begins January 13th.        


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