Pre-K 4 SA

Pre-K 4 SA is designed to improve the quality and quantity of prekindergarten (Pre-K) childhood education for four-year-olds city wide focusing on numeracy and literacy as well as providing professional development for Pre-K through grade 3 educators.

• In 2011, Mayor Julián Castro convened a blue ribbon taskforce to identify the most effective method for improving the quality of education in San Antonio. The Brainpower Taskforce recommended the development of a program focused on high-quality Pre-K services for four-year-old children which studies show has the most impact in improving overall education outcomes for a community.

• There are approximately 5,700 four-year-old children living in San Antonio who are eligible for State funded Pre-K but currently are not enrolled in a full day Pre-K program. An estimated 2,300 eligible four-year-old children currently are not enrolled in any Pre-K program while 3,400 are enrolled in half-day programs in the City of San Antonio.

• The initiative will be funded by the City’s remaining 1/8 cent sales tax capacity that is projected to generate approximately $31 million annually. The 1/8 cent equates to less than $8.00 a year for a household of median income in San Antonio.

• The initiative will be governed by a City Council created corporation for education with a Council appointed 11 member board. City Council will provide fiduciary oversight for the initiative to include approval of the program’s annual budget. The initiative includes annual performance audits and assessments to measure success that will be conducted by independent third-party entities.

• The initiative will be for an eight-year period and will be subject to voter re-authorization in November 2020.

• Over eight years, Pre-K 4 SA will consist of an initial three year build-up in enrollment and five years of full enrollment and program evaluation. In years four through eight, 3,700 children would be enrolled annually. The initiative will educate a projected 22,400 four-year-old children over the initial eight year period.

• Enrollment will be free of charge for students who meet at least one of the State eligibility criteria. A four-year-old is eligible if they or their families are: o eligible for free or reduced lunch (is at 185% of the federal poverty level); or

  • unable to speak and comprehend the English language; or
  • homeless; or
  • the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States; or
  • the child of a member of the armed forces of the United that who was injured or killed while serving on active duty; or
  • is or has been in foster care.

• Four Education Excellence Centers will open during the initiative’s first two program years. Beginning in year four, the Education Excellence Centers will educate 2,000 four-year-old children annually in a high-quality program with classrooms having no more than 20 students per two teaching professionals (one teacher and one teacher aide).

• Ten percent of enrollment at the Education Excellence Centers will be made available to children who do not fall within the State eligibility criteria. These families will pay varying levels of tuition based upon their income.

• Enrollment for the Education Excellence Centers will be chosen through objective and unbiased lottery systems administered by participating school districts.

• The Education Excellence Centers will be strategically located in four different quadrants of the City and will be conveniently located near major highways and VIA transportation routes. Each Education Excellence Center will be approximately 50,000 square feet consisting of classrooms, family support rooms, teacher training areas and playgrounds.

• Extended day service will be offered at each Education Excellence Center to allow more parents the opportunity to use the Pre-K service and to ensure that children have access to a safe and positive learning environment.

• In the 2016-2017 school year, Pre-K 4 SA will offer competitive grants to school districts, charter, private/parochial schools, and community providers to offer full day and/or enhanced Pre-K services for approximately 1,700 four-year-old children annually.

Pre-K 4 SA will provide annual in-service training for 2,300 to 3,150 teachers, principals, early education leaders, and community providers. This training will be extended to teacher and teacher aides in grades K through 3. In the Education Excellence Centers, training will be provided to Pre-K teachers and teacher aides in a learning environment that models best practices in early childhood education and provides an opportunity for teachers to work side-by-side with master teachers. The third training component consists of coaches who will model teach, mentor and provide feedback on implementation of best practices in the teachers’ home classroom on a regular and ongoing basis.

• Monthly workshops for informal community providers of childcare also will be offered at the Centers. The workshops will allow informal providers to work and learn from master teachers and will focus on strategies for literacy and numeracy development, assessing students’ progress and providing lesson ideas to use in their programs.

• Programming for family support and parent engagement within the Initiative will include family support services, parent leadership classes and education classes, and fatherhood initiatives.

• Funding for Pre-K 4 SA is contingent on the November 6, 2012, special sales tax election.

• For more information, contact Rebecca Flores, the City of San Antonio’s Education Coordinator, at 207-2066.

PRE-K 4 SA Summary Fact Sheet

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