Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3485
By: Tillery
Public Education


Research has shown that the training of care givers or teachers in early
childhood development may help improve the early education of a child.
According to the report "School Involvement in Early Childhood" by Donna
Hinkle of the National Institute on Early Childhood Development and
Education, preschool teachers need specialized knowledge and skill in child
development to help them better understand the different developmental
levels of preschoolers and the ways preschoolers learn.  Currently, state
law does not require early education providers in Texas to be trained in
certain aspects of early child development. House Bill 3485 provides for
the training of teachers and care givers in brain development, language
awareness, and the importance of continuity of care. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking is
expressly delegated to the Commissioner of Education in SECTION 1 (Section
29.158, Education Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 3485 amends the Education Code to provide that each teacher of a
prekindergarten or kindergarten class and each care giver in a federal Head
Start program or other federally or state funded early childhood care and
education program must receive training that enables the teacher or care
giver to provide children in the class or program with appropriate
instruction.  The bill provides that the instruction be based on scientific
studies showing the manner in which brain development is connected to the
nature of early childhood experience, focus on the importance and
continuity of the relationship between the teacher or care giver and the
child and the relationship between the teacher or care giver and the
parent, and include appropriate language awareness activities conducted
with a small group of children.  The bill provides that a person who holds
a certificate to teach prekindergarten or kindergarten on the effective
date of this Act must receive the training no later than September 1, 2003
to teach after that date. 

The bill provides that the training must be provided by a person, including
an entity eligible to operate an open-enrollment charter school, approved
by the commissioner of education (commissioner), and requires the
commissioner to adopt criteria by rule that a person must meet to be
approved.  The bill requires that the training be paid for with state or
federal funds appropriated for that purpose. 

The bill provides that the rules that the State Board for Educator
Certification (board) is required to adopt to establish training
requirements provide that to obtain the certificate required to teach
prekindergarten or kindergarten, a person must receive the early childhood
development training.  The bill also provides that the staff development
provided by a school district must include training for teachers of
prekindergarten or kindergarten. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.