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Summary: HB 742 would provide grant programs to not more than 10 school districts that provide summer education for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students who are considered disadvantaged. The legislation would intend to educate students, provide professional development for new teachers as well as student teachers, and add compensation for existing teachers by furthering their employment through the summer. HB 742 would require the districts to submit an annual report to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the districts would have to receive an evaluation by a third-party vendor.
Analysis: This legislation seeks to address the very real problem of the summer learning gap that especially affects lower income families. Unfortunately HB 742 would expand the scope of government by essentially developing a costly pilot program for year round school attendance that would also increase the tax burden. This could also provide a basis for mandatory year round schools in the future. Finally, formal pre-k education has not been demonstrated to have a long term benefit. To assist disadvantaged students, non-profit organizations can address this need and educate students more efficiently with no mandated cost to taxpayers. We oppose HB 742.