HOUSTON — This week, dozens of Houston-area school districts are enrolling students in pre-kindergarten.
However, Spring Branch ISD and Houston ISD are among the few that currently offer full-day programs.
“The state funds half-a-day pre-k. Our local school district picks up the remaining,” said Kim Hammer, principal at Bear Boulevard School.
There’s a movement in Austin to change that.
State funding for full-day pre-kindergarten has been rolled into House Bill 3, the school finance reform bill.
The $9-billion bill has already passed the House. It also has Governor Greg Abbott’s support.
Early education would be free for students who meet certain criteria, including language and income requirements.
Although full-day pre-k is a small part of the proposal, Houston educators say it's life changing for students.
Research has shown pre-k leads to higher test scores, higher high school graduation rates, and even higher earning potential in adulthood.
“Here at Spring Branch, we just see such a huge return on that investment of having pre-k full day instead of half day,” said Hammer.
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