Many vulnerable student populations are currently eligible for free full-day Pre-K from their local ISD. These populations include students who are economically-disadvantaged, English Language Learning, and homeless, among other eligibility categories. A high quality Pre-K program can boost school readiness for these at-risk students tremendously.
It is understandably tragic when a student loses one of his or her parents as a result of their role as a first responder. The period after such a loss is trying for both the student and the remaining parent, and strong social support structures during this time are invaluable. A high quality Pre-K program could be of great benefit for this now at-risk student.
HB 357, authored by Chairman Dan Huberty, expands Pre-K eligibility through the Star of Texas program, an award that is presented to first responders either severely injured or killed on the line of duty, including firefighters, peace officers, and EMTs. Pre-K eligibility already includes children of fallen or injured military members, and should extend to fallen or injured first responders at home, as well.