Joint Policy Update
The Early Matters Dallas and Houston Policy and Legislative Committees held a joint meeting in May to prepare for the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session by developing a policy agenda aligned to the core principles of both communities. During the meeting the committees agreed to advocate for the following:
- Sustaining HB4 high-quality Pre-K grant funding at $118 million per year and ideally, expand funding to incorporate full day Pre-K via formula funding for those districts that choose to offer it.
- Authorizing the Dallas County Community College District to offer a 4 year B.A. early childhood teaching degree to address the shortage of high quality early childhood teachers in the region.
- Coordinating data sharing between Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Education Agency to ensure that policymakers, school districts, and the public have access to transparent data on children transitioning from subsidized child care programs to public Pre-K.
- Increased data reporting and transparency for the Texas Rising Star Program to provide parents, policymakers, educators and other stakeholders with clearer information about the quality of child care paid for by state and federal funds.
Additional policies continue to be considered, and four separate working groups were established with members from both policy committees to gather additional research, further develop policy specifics and encourage others to act in the crucial months leading up to the 85th Texas Legislative Session. These working groups will explore HB4, TWC policies that could strengthen quality of childcare providers, an EC teacher certification, and an EC provider registry, among others.
Mark Your Calendars!
- On November 1st, Early Matters Dallas will be hosting a summit in conjunction with the University of Dallas McDermott Lecture Series, featuring General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.). The summit will take place from 8:00 – 9:00 pm at the Meyerson Symphony Center.
- Early Matters Dallas Alignment Council Meetings for the remainder of 2016 will be held from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas on August 18, October 12 and December 7.