The Texas Legislature took away $118 million in pre-K funding, now districts are scrambling

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Texas pre-kindergarten programs are just scraping by after losing millions of dollars last year — and without sustainable funding, they could see greater problems down the line, school officials say. During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers decided not to fund a $118 million high-quality pre-K grant program that was created in 2015 and championed by

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The money had gone to 573 districts and charter schools that pledged to meet measures like setting a lower student-teacher ratio, avoiding Common Core curricula and reporting student progress to the state. There’s another catch: Now every Texas district and charter has to make these improvements. And they’re required to use 15 percent of the state money they already receive for pre-K, which ensures $236 million — double what was allocated last year — will be spent on high-quality standards.



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