Drawing on our experience working on early childhood education policy, we are partnering with a variety of stakeholders to develop a coordinated, bipartisan, and collaborative effort to strengthen Texas early childhood systems — including child care, Head Start, pre-k, and kindergarten through third grade — for English Learner (EL) children.
The Initiative recognizes that English Learners are key to the success of education efforts in Texas — and early childhood is key to English Learners’ success.
This work is particularly urgent now during the coronavirus pandemic. Closures of schools and child care, as well as broader social isolation, have disrupted English Learners’ access to effective and equitable bilingual education during the critical window of early childhood.
The Initiative will be guided by a statewide Advisory Group and led by a Steering Committee composed of Texans Care for Children, Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), Dr. Dina Castro of UNT Denton, and the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TxAEYC). This Initiative is made possible by the generous support of TEGAC, the Rainwater Foundation, and the Alliance for Early Success.
The Initiative envisions a Texas in which:
- More students are ready for school, strong readers by third grade, and fluent in both English and their home language.
- More teachers, principals, child care directors and educators, and parents have the tools they need to support English Learners during early childhood
- More families of English Learners feel valued and invited to participate in their child’s education.
- Texas maximizes the success of HB 3, the school finance bill the Legislature passed in 2019.
Read more about the Initiative, the opportunity to serve on the Advisory Group, and early childhood English Learners in Texas: