December 3, 2020

For Immediate Release
December 3, 2020

(Frisco, TX) – Today, Representative Jared Patterson filed HB 725 to ensure that children who were in foster care in another state and now reside in Texas, are eligible for enrollment in public school prekindergarten.

Currently, state statute only allows for children that are or ever have been in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), a Texas state agency, to enroll in public school prekindergarten classes. HB 725 would amend this statute to include any child that is or has even been a ward of foster care in another state or territory, as long as the child currently resides in Texas.

This initiative was brought to Rep. Patterson by a constituent who encountered this problem when attempting to enroll her newly adopted child in prekindergarten classes. The child had previously been a ward of the foster care system in another state, but was never under the conservatorship of Texas DFPS. Due to the wording of current statute, her child did not qualify for public school prekindergarten.

“Every foster and adopted child should have access to the same rights across the board. Whether or not they were located in Texas during their stay in foster care should not be a factor in their qualifying for a service that is to their benefit,” Rep. Patterson said. “I am especially grateful for the constituent that brought this issue to my attention because I am confident that it will be advantageous to many families if it passes.”

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Business & Industry, Urban Affairs, and Resolutions Calendars. He also serves on the House Interim Study Committee on Aggregate Production Operations, and the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.