Texas Education Code § 29.153. Free Prekindergarten for Certain Children




(a) In this section:

(1) “Child” includes a stepchild.

(2) “Parent” includes a stepparent.

(a-1) A district shall offer prekindergarten classes if the district identifies 15 or more children who are eligible under Subsection (b) and are at least four years of age.  A school district may offer prekindergarten classes if the district identifies 15 or more eligible children who are at least three years of age.  A district may not charge tuition for a prekindergarten class offered under this section.

(b) A child is eligible for enrollment in a prekindergarten class under this section if the child is at least three years of age and:

(1) is unable to speak and comprehend the English language;

(2) is educationally disadvantaged;

(3) is a homeless child, as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11434a, regardless of the residence of the child, of either parent of the child, or of the child's guardian or other person having lawful control of the child;

(4) is the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority;

(5) is the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who was injured or killed while serving on active duty;  or

(6) is or ever has been in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services following an adversary hearing held as provided by Section 262.201, Family Code.

(c) A prekindergarten class under this section shall be operated on a half-day basis.  A district is not required to provide transportation for a prekindergarten class, but transportation, if provided, is included for funding purposes as part of the regular transportation system.

(d) On application of a district, the commissioner may exempt a district from the application of this section if the district would be required to construct classroom facilities in order to provide prekindergarten classes.

(e) Each school district shall develop a system to notify the population in the district with children who are eligible for enrollment in a prekindergarten class under this section of the availability of the class.  The system must include public notices issued in English and Spanish.

(f) A child who is eligible for enrollment in a prekindergarten class under Subsection (b)(4) or (5) remains eligible for enrollment if the child's parent leaves the armed forces, or is no longer on active duty, after the child begins a prekindergarten class.


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