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Texas Celebrates Full-Day Pre-K

We at Raise Your Hand Texas want to applaud Texas lawmakers for all they did during the 2019 legislative session to support our public schools. Legislators passed several key bills, allowing our state to take an important first step toward a better-funded, more equitable system. But it must be the first of many steps if we hope to achieve the high expectations we have for our students and our future as a state.

The Power of Pre-K

It’s not just students, parents, and educators who recognize the power of high-quality pre-kindergarten, both to building the foundation for learning and for leveling the playing field among student groups for kindergarten readiness.

Our new video series features prominent Texans from a variety of industries and perspectives, all speaking to the importance of high-quality, full-day pre-K to Texas students, the educational and workforce pipelines, and the future economy of Texas.

Greatness Starts in Pre-K Video

Pre-K in Texas

Texas currently funds a half-day public school pre-kindergarten program for 3- and 4-year-olds who are:

  • Economically disadvantaged
  • English Language Learners (ELL)
  • Children of military
  • In foster care
  • Homeless

Evidence of Efficacy

New studies have confirmed the benefits of expanded access to quality pre-kindergarten.

A 2017 Rand study found that “most programs with benefit–cost analyses show positive returns.”

 A meta-analysis of 22 high-quality experimental and quasi-experimental studies conducted between 1960 and 2016 found that participation in early childhood education leads to reductions in special education placement and grade retention as well as increases in high school graduation rates.

Researchers estimate pre-kindergarten investments in Tulsa have a 2-to-1 return.


Essential Elements of Quality Pre-K

Teacher Quality

  • Pre-service Credentials
  • Professional Development

Structural Elements

  • Full-day Enrollment
  • 10:1 Adult-to-Student Ratio

Curriculum & Assessment

  • Approved Curriculum Aligned with Early Learning Standards
  • 10:1 Adult-to-Student Ratio


  • Collection of Key Classroom & Assessment Data
  • Reporting of Structural & Assessment Data to Legislature and Public


  • Formula-generated Funding for High-quality, Full-day Programs

Texas Pre-K Research Guide

Our guide provides summaries to the most current and comprehensive Texas-specific research about public school pre-kindergarten programs and early learning outcomes across the state.