HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Hays County ISD says it plans to enroll approximately 750 kids into its pre-kindergarten curriculum.
Last year, it was 500.
This is according to district officials who hosted a registration day event at Simon Middle School in Hays County on Friday.
The boost in numbers stems from House Bill 3, which was signed into law.
The bill boosts $11.6 billion dollars in funding to public schools with an emphasis on pre-K and kindergarten education.
In regards to Hays ISD, the new money will allow the district to extend class days to full days instead of class being dismissed closer to 10:30 a.m. or noon.
“We continue to partner with Head Start, and the number of students that Head Start is now going to serve for the pre-K 3 age group has increased,” says Paty Santoyo, Director for Early Childhood and Extended Services with Hays ISD. “And so the slots that we had with Head Start for the four-year-olds will now go to serve our three-year-old pre-K Head Start students.”
The bolstering of the pre-K classes is a boon for the district, says School Board President Esperanza Orosco.
“Currently, we are showing that 40% of our students in Hays County are not kindergarten-ready. We are trying to get our students out of poverty, and make them successful,” says Orosco. “We are trying to make different opportunities for our students.”
The district says it will add 25 new classes to its pre-K curriculum. Each class will have about 20-22 kids.
For more information on registration and qualifications, click here.