When the Texas Legislature cut funding for public education in 2011 schools lost more than $200 million that helped pay for prekindergarten.
About $30 million has been restored.
But now Wendy Davis wants to restore all of that and more for early education.
The Democratic state senator from Fort Worth details her plan at a community school here in Houston.
“Every eligible Texas child will have access to pre-K. Second I will work with the Legislature to promote early childhood reading so that every child is reading at or above grade level by the third grade.”
Davis wants school districts to offer full day pre-K. That’s more than the three hours currently funded by the state.
But that proposal won’t be cheap.
Her campaign estimates the pre-K plan will cost $750 million a year.
Davis says the state can use surplus revenue to pay for it.
She says it’s worth it since studies show long-term benefits. Children who attend high quality pre-K are more likely to finish high school, tend to earn more money and are less likely to get in trouble with the law.
“It’s easy to say we care. But when it comes time to make a commitment to these kids and to support schools such as the Promise School, the state is falling short.”
In the governor’s race, Davis’ Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, is also trying to make education a priority.
He’s held roundtable talks highlighting charter schools and online learning.