AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation supports Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to veto House Bill 130, which would have inappropriately expanded government-funded pre-kindergarten programs in Texas.
“Gov. Perry was correct to veto HB 130, which created an additional and unnecessary government full-day pre-k program,” said Foundation education policy analyst Brooke Terry. “This legislation wrongly focused on inputs rather than results, and did not include the private sector as a full partner in providing early childhood education.”
Texas already has a government full-day pre-k program. HB 130 would have required every pre-k classroom in the new program to have a child-to-staff ratio of 11:1, a 22-child maximum class size, and a certified teacher with at least nine credit hours of early childhood education. The bill gives providers three years to find certified teachers. Very few, if any, private-sector pre-k providers currently meet these requirements, and HB 130 would have pushed many of them out of the market.
These new requirements would cost taxpayers $7,300 per child per year, and research does not find that class size or certification lead to higher teacher quality or increased student learning.
Brooke Terry is an education policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.
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