Pre-K bill passes through Senate committee

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — More money could be funneling into your child’s education after the Senate Committee on Education passed a bill to increase funding for quality pre-kindergarten.

The bill sparked controversy last week when advisers to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick described the initiative as “based in socialism” and said it keeps Texas children in a “Godless environment.”

But after several hours of debate, the committee passed it 7-2 on Thursday.

The measure sets up incentives for districts to adopt higher quality measures within pre-K programs, providing an additional $1,500 per eligible student.

The Association of Texas Professional Educators supports the bill, but thinks it could go even further.

“ATPE certainly advocates for full day, fully funded universal pre-K, high-quality pre-K,” said Monty Exter with ATPE. “This bill is only a step towards that, but it’s better than doing nothing.”

In the bill funding is capped at $130 million.

Dissenting votes came from Senators Van Taylor and Don Huffines.

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