POL. ADV. PAID FOR BY WENDY R. DAVIS FOR GOVERNOR, INC.
Great Schools: Great Texas
Part III – Great Start: Great Texas
Every Texas child deserves a great academic start. Early childhood is the time for establishing learning foundations and for making sure that students from all backgrounds begin to establish the skills that will last the rest of their lives. Also, high-quality early education is the best investment Texas can make in a strong economic future. Demographer Steve Murdock of Rice University has projected that, if Texas continues on its current educational path, by 2040, 30% of Texans will lack a high school diploma and the average household income will be about $6,500 lower than it was in 2000.
Fortunately, we know that the right education investments move Texas in the right direction.
Nobel Laureate economist James Heckman has found that communities that invest in pre-K investment see higher graduation rates,
higher overall earnings, and less spending on prisons and health care.
Wendy Davis knows that high-quality early education is the best investment we can make in the future of Texas. When we give kids in Pre-K through third grade the language proficiency, basic math skills, and solid reading comprehension they need, there is no limit to how much those kids can achieve.
Wendy Davis believes in the critical importance of early childhood access to Pre-K. Therefore, as Governor, she will:
Ensure that school districts across the state are offering students high-quality, full-day Pre-K.
Expand eligibility for Pre-K programs beyond the most in-need students by implementing a sliding scale for families above the 185% federal poverty level.
By means testing families with higher incomes and allowing them to participate at a sliding scale of payment, the program will provide access more students without greatly expanding its cost.
Steve H. Murdock
The New Texas Challenge: Population Change and the Future of Texas, Texas A&M University Press
Steve H. Murdock
Changing Texas: Implications of Addressing or Ignoring the Texas Challenge, Texas A&M University Press (2014), 132. (“[If Texas] can successfully educate [its growing population of minority students], it could have a younger and more competitive workforce than the nation as a whole. The challenge is providing the resources necessary to ensure that Texas students and workers are competitive in the increasingly international workforce of the future.”)
“Why All Children Benefit from Pre-K,” at http://www.pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=19434.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-16/the-heckman-equation-early-childhood-education-benefits-all (stating that each dollar spent at age 4 is worth between $60 and $300 by age 65.)
In 2013, 185% of the federal poverty level equals an annual income of $43,567 for a family of four.
As Governor, Wendy Davis will:
Ensure that every eligible Texas child has access to high-quality, full-day Pre-K.
Promote early-childhood reading so that every student is reading at grade-level by the third grade.
As Governor, Wendy Davis will
ensure that every eligible Texas child has access to quality, full-day Pre-K