Greg Abbott unveils first part of education plan

Democrat Wendy Davis: Opponent does not expand pre-K

Attorney General Greg Abbott chose the Carver Idea Academy to unveil the first of his four-part education plan, starting with pre-K to third grade.

Abbott brought his Republican campaign for governor to San Antonio on Wednesday.

"The problem with most taxpayer funded pre-K programs is that they provide no provable, lasting measurable results," Abbott said.

He said expanding those programs would be "an act of negligence and waste."

However, his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis said Abbott's plan does not expand pre-K at all.

Davis said in a statement Abbott's proposal "explains why he's still fighting to defend nearly $200 million in cuts to pre-K in the courtroom."

She said by being for "a chosen few," Abbott's plan "would set our state backwards."

However, Abbott said he is trying to create a firm foundation for students.  

Unlike the voter approved PreK4SA, Abbott suggests improving teacher skills focusing on literacy and math at regional education service centers.

Abbott also said, "Our plan gives flexibility to local ISDs to allow them to decide how they want to deal with pre-K."

He said school districts would be rewarded if they meet what he calls the "gold standard," for example, by offering the most rigorous pre-K instruction.

If so, Abbott said, stipends for each student would be increased.

Abbott said, "Some can take that $1,500 and use it to expand to full day. Others can take that to hire more teachers. You almost have an infinite number of ways they could use the money."