State lawmakers discuss series of pre-kindergarten proposals

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - State lawmakers are discussing six bills to bolster pre-kindergarten programs, including a funding plan for school districts that meet early education benchmarks.

The House Public Education Committee is also mulling Tuesday other proposals incentivizing school districts to offer innovative approaches, including full-day programs.

But most likely to pass is Rep. Dan Huberty's bill pledging $100 million to districts that improve existing pre-kindergarten plans.

Texas currently offers half-day pre-kindergarten to about 225,000 students, most from low-income families or needing extra English instruction.

Gov. Greg Abbott is fast-tracking pre-kindergarten bills through the Legislature, but Huberty's is closest to what he campaigned on.

Advocates would like higher pre-kindergarten standards and more full-day programs, but passing those looks tougher.

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