TEA Clarifies Requirements for High Quality Pre-K Programs

Published: Apr. 12, 2016 at 10:25 AM CDT
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The Texas Education Agency is raising the bar for school district Pre-Kindergarten programs.

The move is part of House Bill 4 that, created a new high-quality prekindergarten grant program, passed during the last legislative session.

Under the bill, any school district/charter school that is enrolled in the high quality pre-K program must hold specific criteria. For example, in order to teach in one of these programs, each teacher must hold a Texas teaching certificate and one of the following:

(A) a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential or another early childhood education credential approved by the agency;

(B) certification offered through a training center accredited by Association Montessori Internationale or through the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education;

(C) at least eight years' experience of teaching in a nationally accredited child care program;

(D) be employed as a prekindergarten teacher in a school district that has received approval from the commissioner for the district's prekindergarten-specific instructional training plan that the teacher uses in the teacher's prekindergarten classroom; or

(E) an equivalent qualification.

Under the original verbiage of the bill, all teachers were also required to obtain 150 continuing professional education hours. The wording has been changed to 150 hours of professional development.

Wink-Loving ISD has applied to be part of the HB 4 program.

HB 4 establishes additional state support for high-quality prekindergarten programs including authorization for a grant program and expansion of early childhood education reporting requirements for all Texas public schools, according to the TEA.