Houston-based Children at Risk spent a day at the capitol Thursday to update state lawmakers on the benefits of all-day pre-K programs.
"One of the things we know is that 60 percent of Texas school children are low income," said Children at Risk President Dr. Bob Sanborn. "And the research is pretty clear that when you have low-income kids, if you have a high-quality pre-K program they’re going to start kindergarten in a better way, at a more advanced level."
Sanborn’s group is in the middle of a statewide study that looks at the effects of providing Texas children a universal form of pre-K.
“Many school districts have gone for full-day pre-K, even though the state only funds for half day, some districts are doing pre-K for even three year olds," Sanborn said. "But the shortfall with all this is that if half a kindergarten gets pre-K and the other half doesn’t, it’s very hard for teachers to keep everyone up to date.”
Sanborn said all-day pre-K is more beneficial than half-day programs. The problem, he said, is that the state of Texas can’t afford that right now.