Austin, TX – A new Abbott TV ad claims the Republican governor “increased funding for early education…But Abbott’s record on the issues tells a more complicated story.” [Texas Tribune, September 11, 2018]
A similar Abbott radio ad also spreads misleading information in Spanish.
In 2016, over 20 districts had turned down funds because they weren’t sure they could meet the governor’s standards with such limited money.
“It’s really disingenuous to say we brought high-quality pre-K when we’re really just asking everyone to improve quality with the funding they already have,” said Chandra Villanueva, a program director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities.
Rubin said she also took issue with the characterization of the pre-K program as “high quality” in the Spanish-language radio ad, noting that the National Institute for Education Research gave the state’s pre-K programs a quality rank of four out of 10.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Full-day Pre-K is essential to help young Texans cultivate skills for the rest of their lives. Texas should be leading the nation in delivering quality, universal Pre-K, but that’s far from our current state of affairs.
“Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans have refused to invest in our children and continue to defend their broken school finance system. Shame on Greg Abbott for trying to mislead Texas about his record in his recent radio ad, and especially to Latinos in Spanish.
“Texans deserve leaders like Lupe Valdez and Mike Collier that will fight for universal Pre-K so that our children have a strong foundation, support our teachers and fully invest in our public schools, so that everyone has a fair shot to get ahead.”
The State of Pre-K in Texas:
Texas lags far behind on funding early education sitting at 28th nationally and last year it only met 4 out of 10 quality standards set by the National Institute for Early Education Research. [NIEER 2017 Report]
Texas pays for half-day public school pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds who are economically disadvantaged, English-language learners, military children, in foster care or homeless. [RAISE Your Hand Texas]
The benefits of quality Pre-K produce even greater benefits when followed by quality K-3rd grade instruction. Quality full-day Pre-K produced even stronger results than quality half-day Pre-K. [Texas AFT]
Texas’ failure to invest in early education, classrooms and teachers has long term consequences: “This underfunding by the governor has led Texas to have the largest gender gap in educational attainment and the seventh-largest racial educational attainment gap in the nation.”
Texas Democratic Party Platform on Pre-K Education:
“We believe every eligible Texas child must have access to high-quality, full-day Pre-K and kindergarten and that the Texas Education Agency should establish appropriate quality standards for Pre-K programs to ensure that students are receiving the highest quality instruction.” Read more…
Texas Republican Party Platform on Pre-K Education:
Nothing. Read more…