HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR PRE-KINDERGARTEN?
To be eligible to enroll in pre-kindergarten, a child must:
Be have reached the legal age of 4 on or before September 1 of the current school year
and meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Unable to speak and comprehend the English language
- Educationally disadvantaged
- Child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States (including state military forces or a reserved component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority back to active duty)
- Child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserved component who was injured or killed while serving in active duty
- Have ever been in the conservatorship (foster family) or the Department of Family and Protective Services following an adversary hearing
- Be the child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award
Completing a registration form does not automatically insure a child will be accepted in the pre-kindergarten program. A more detailed explanation of the requirements is provided below:
Entrance to the pre-kindergarten program is based upon lack of proficiency in speaking the English language, or upon an income that is below the national average as determined by the U.S. Government guidelines.
- A language proficiency test is used to determine eligibility based upon a language deficiency. A designation of Non-English Speaking or Limited-English Speaking is required for entrance.
- Federal Guidelines are issued each year to determine income eligibility for this program. Proof of income is required. It may consist of an income tax form, statement from an employer certifying current monthly wages, or current check voucher stubs. If wages are paid hourly, a 40-hour total is used.
All incomes within a household are used to determine a total. This includes any wage earner living within the home: wife, or any family member or friend that resides within the applicant’s household. Any additional income such as alimony, child support, or dividends must also be included. The total is determined before taxes; it is not take-home pay. If an individual is unemployed, a notarized statement to that effect must be presented.
If the applicant has qualified for food stamps or Aid to Dependent Children, this information automatically qualifies an individual for the Pre-Kindergarten Program.
Federal guidelines are very precise, and an applicant must sign a form assuring the accuracy of all information presented. Random telephone calls are sometimes made to employers to verify income information. If inconsistencies occur, determination of accuracy must be made or the child may be subject to withdrawal from the program.