Tab supports full day Pre-K for those currently eligible.
TAB Board Supports Expanding Full-Day Pre-K
AUSTIN, TX— The Texas Association of Business Board of Directors has voted to support the expansion of full-day public Pre-K programs for those children who already qualify for public Pre-K.
“Education Commissioner Mike Morath has told me that the average student entering kindergarten is 12 to 18 months behind.” said TAB CEO Bill Hammond. “It takes at least six years of excellent teaching for those children to catch up and be on grade-level. The cost of remediation is enormous and can be a detriment to the other children who come to kindergarten prepared to do that level of work. Ensuring that every child, who is currently eligible for public Pre-K, is enrolled in a high quality, full-day program will help close that gap.”
TAB also wants to ensure that these full-day programs meet the highest quality standards. While he shouldn’t necessarily dictate curriculum, the education commissioner should be given the authority to set rules to measure the effectiveness of curriculum and professional development.
Currently, children living below the poverty line, children in the foster care system and the children of military families are all eligible for public Pre-K. At this time, we believe expanding the program to full-day for every child currently eligible is the place to start. These are the children who need the most help.
Long-term studies of children who attended a quality Pre-K program show they are more likely to stay in school, graduate from high school and attend college. They also make more money over their lifetime and are less likely to be unemployed or end up in prison later in life. “When you look at those statistics, you realize why this is an important issue to business,” said Hammond. “Not only are we talking about quality of life, but we are talking about the future quality of our workforce.”
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