Reforming full-day pre-k for eligible four-year-olds now includes a statewide standard for pre-k class sizes and student-teacher ratios.
SB 2081 has been considered “common-sense reform” by children’s advocates and is a step closer to assuring the state’s early childhood experience for Texas kids is more effective.
Back in 2015, a high-quality prekindergarten bill passed that recommended classrooms have no more than 22 students per class, and teachers and aides are limited to 11 students each for classrooms with more than 15 students.
As directed by House Bill 4, a report, commissioned by the Texas Education Agency and the Department of Family and Protective Services, found a direct link between the quality of education and teacher ratios.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) says that “class size indeed matters in preschool” and recommends that class size not exceed 20 children and no more than 10 children per educator.
In 2019, the state provided full-day pre-K for eligible four-year-olds, thanks to new state funding, before then only half-day, or 3-hour, pre-K was required to be offered by school districts, for eligible students.
Texas preschool enrollment decreased 22 percent during the pandemic, the Houston Chronicle reported at the start of 2021.
Also, this session 4 bills were passed from the Texas Early Childhood English Learner Initiative.
Here’s a preliminary recap of key children’s bills that passed during the 2021 Texas Legislative Session, from the nonprofit Texans Care for Children.