Is there really something to this pre-K thing?

According to Bernal, pre-K matters

SAN ANTONIO – In his report detailing findings from 55 schools across his San Antonio district, State Rep. Diego Bernal came across something that had been talked about (and voted on) in the Alamo City. Apparently, pre-K matters.

“Teachers and principals note the significant differences between students who attended pre-kindergarten and those who did not,” Bernal wrote in his report. “Teachers can go further with kindergarten students who have common academic foundations and learning habits, as well as an understanding of basic classroom norms. Pre-K sets up students for success; it is an essential educational foundation."

Read Diego Bernal's report on his tour of schools in his district

While many districts offer pre-K, the city of San Antonio now provides full-day pre-K education for several thousand students in the Alamo City. There is still debate on the function of a city-wide pre-K program, since opponents argue that education is not the business of the city, but former Mayor Julian Castro touted it as a beneficial tool to get more children enrolled in early education.

Pre-K 4 SA was one of Castro’s legacy projects. The issue went before voters, who narrowly agreed, and raised the sales tax rate to a cap of 8.25 percent. This year, Pre-K 4 SA began its fourth year in operation, with four centers across each quadrant of the city with an enrollment goal of 2,000 children.

According to one school leader who Bernal spoke with, pre-K in whatever form makes a difference.

“It’s not a luxury anymore. It’s a necessity… if we want our kids to make it,” the school leader said.


Below is an in-depth look at each of the main areas Bernal looked at in his study. Click on the icon for each of the stories.