Advocates Praise Governor Abbott’s Call To Invest In Optional, High-Quality PreK

January 31, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today listed investing in optional, high-quality PreK programs as one of his legislative priorities in his State of the State Address. PreK advocates were quick to offer praise for the Governor’s call to action:

“As long-term private investors in high quality early education, the 39 grantmakers who make up the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium understand the significant impact that investing in quality pre-kindergarten has on the academic and social emotional success of Texas students. We commend Governor Abbott for recognizing the significance of this ROI and for prioritizing high quality pre-kindergarten from the day he took his oath of office. We know that the response to the high quality pre-K grant program (HB 4) over the last year has been overwhelming because Texas school districts also prioritize pre-kindergarten as a critical first step for their youngest students. We stand ready to continue to support the Governor and the Texas Legislature as partners in our state’s commitment to providing high quality pre-kindergarten in Texas."
Mary Jalonick, President and CEO, The Dallas Foundation and Chair, Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium

“The new pre-K grant program takes an important step forward in boosting the quality of pre-K in Texas. Research in Texas and across the nation proves what high quality pre-K can accomplish: children starting kindergarten on grade level instead of starting behind their peers on day one; students performing better throughout elementary, middle, and high school; and a state with a well-trained workforce and reduced costs for special education, public assistance, and other public programs. This is why there is overwhelming bipartisan support for quality pre-K among leaders in business, law enforcement, faith, and education all across the state. Texas has further work to do to ensure all eligible students have access to effective pre-K programs, but it is critical now that the Legislature fully supports continuation of the new pre-K grant program.”
Stephanie Rubin, CEO, Texans Care for Children

“Two years ago, Governor Abbott delivered on a promise to improve the quality of pre-kindergarten in Texas, and he stayed true to his commitment when the hard work of implementation began. He rolled up his sleeves and worked with legislators and educators to get more for every dollar the state invests in pre-K. The research is clear. High quality pre-K works for Texas children and Texas taxpayers. Texas can and Texas must continue its investment in quality pre-K of $236 million for the biennium. We appreciate Governor Abbott’s support for early education.”
Dr. Bob Sanborn, President and CEO, CHILDREN AT RISK