2016 Early Education Legislative Tracking


Colored pencilsThis page tracks state-level legislation in several areas of education affecting prekindergarten through third grade students (P-3). Issue areas include: task forces, study committees and pilot programs, family engagement (including community schools), dual- and English-language learners, school readiness, teachers (includes professional development, licensure and certification), literacy and mathematics and a general section as they pertain to the P-3 spectrum.

CLICK HERE for an updated and in-depth scan of all related legislation (Updated September 13, 2016)Below, select legislation is presented in each issue area to provide examples.

Task Forces and Committees 

This section focuses on bills that have been introduced that relate to creating task forces, study committees and/or pilot programs that examine specific issues of prekindergarten through third grade education. 

2016 P-3 Task Forces and Committees Legislation
State Bill Number  Disposition Legislation
ID EO1 Enacted Establishes the Early Childhood Coordinating Council.
Massachusetts S 280 Passed 1st Committee Establishes a special commission on two-generation approaches to childhood education.
New York A 6624 Introduced Creates the joint legislative committee on early childhood and learning. The committee shall study issues concerning early childhood and school readiness, including but not limited to health care, mental health, parental involvement, family support, child care and early learning.
Virginia H 46 Enacted Establishes an Early Education Workforce Committee with the key goal to ensure an effective professional development and credentialing system for the early childhood education workforce.


Family Engagement 

This section focuses on bills that have been introduced that relate to improving family engagement in schools and relates to the creation, governance and funding of community schools, those that provide comprehensive services to students and their families.

2016 P-3 Family Engagement Legislation
State Bill Number Disposition Legislation
Maryland H 1139 Enacted Creates the Maryland Community School Strategy for Excellence in Education Act, authorizing specified local school systems and specified public schools to form specified partnerships to provide specified community school services.
New York A 7225/S 1933 Introduced Establishes full-service community schools to improve student outcomes through a systematic effort designed to coordinate educational programs with essential health, mental health and enrichment services and facilitate parental involvement in their children's education.
Rhode Island S 2096 Enacted Establishes the Rhode Island Family Home Visiting Act; provides that the Rhode Island Department of Health is to coordinate the system of early childhood visiting services to meet the needs of vulnerable families with young children.
West Virginia H 4295 Enacted Creates the School Innovation Zones Act for the purpose of encouraging and incentivizing public schools to implement key innovational educational priorities and improve overall student outcomes; includes community school partnerships.


Dual Language Learners

This section focuses on bills that have been introduced that relate to improving the educational achievement of dual- and English-language learners. These two groups are generally synonymous, but dual-language learners (DLLs) more accurately defines the population of students whose native language is not English and as these students are generally learning two languages up through third grade.

2016 P-3 Dual Language Learner Legislation
State Bill Number Disposition Legislation
Arizona H 2707 Enacted Creates an educational technology program to support DLLs and ELLs in grades kindergarten through six with their language and literacy development in English.
California Prop. 58 Ballot 11/8/2016 Amends and repeals various provisions of Proposition 227; deletes sheltered English immersion requirements and waivers; and authorizes parents and guardians to choose a language acquisition program best suited for their child.
Massachusetts H 498 Introduced Provides the highest quality education through access of innovative and research-based language education instructional programs.
Oregon S 1564 Enacted Transfers reporting requirements related to English language learner programs from school districts to Department of Education.
Washington H 1541 Enacted Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, requires all transitional bilingual education (TBE) teachers to hold an endorsement in bilingual education or English language learner education, or both.


School Readiness

This section focuses on bills that have been introduced that relate to better understanding where students are academically when they enter school (primarily entering kindergarten or first grade). It includes legislation on kindergarten entry assessments, school transitions and compulsory age requirements.

2016 P-3 School Readiness Legislation
State Bill Number Disposition Legislation
Georgia H 751 Enacted Appropriates funding to provide training, technical assistance, and oversight of Pre-Kindergarten programs operated by public and private providers throughout the state and to improve the quality of early learning and increase school readiness for Georgia's four-year-olds.
Maryland S 794 Enacted Administers a statewide kindergarten assessment to a random sample of students which may include an evaluation of language and literacy skills, academic knowledge in mathematics, science and social studies, among others. 
Nebraska L 889 Enacted Creates a school readiness tax credit system to award early childhood educators based on their experience and professional credentials.
Utah S 101 Enacted Expands access to high-quality school readiness programs for eligible students. Also creates the Intergenerational Poverty School Readiness Scholarship Program.



This section focuses on bills that have been introduced that relate to teacher professional development, certification and licensure and content specialization as they relate to the prekindergarten through third grade spectrum. Examples includes legislation that aim to require kindergarten teachers to hold pre-K licensures instead of an elementary license.

2016 P-3 Teacher Legislation
State Bill Number Disposition Legislation
Connecticut S 273 Enacted Beginning July 1, 2017, at least 50 percent of early childhood education programs accepting state funds must require lead teachers to hold an endorsement in early childhood education (ECE) or ECE-special education or a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in ECE. Beginning July 1, 2020, 100 percent of centers must meet this requirement.
Iowa S 2196 Enacted Relates to reading and literacy requirements for teacher preparation programs.
New York S 2867 Introduced Establishes the bilingual teachers of tomorrow teacher recruitment and retention program to attract and retain bilingual, certified teachers in areas of greatest need.
Washington H 1541 Enacted Expands the paraprofessional educator workforce to include certifications in early childhood education.


Literacy and Mathematics

This section focuses on bills that have been introduced that relate to developing the literacy and mathematics achievement of prekindergarten through third grade students. Examples include third grade reading retention laws, intervention in these areas and much more.

2016 P-3 Literacy and Mathematics Legislation
State Bill Number Disposition Legislation
Georgia S 364 Enacted Provides for mastery in reading by the end of third grade and mastery in basic math skills by the end of fifth grade.
Idaho H 560 Enacted Relates to statewide student readiness and improvement metrics; includes grade four reading readiness and improvement metrics.
Iowa H 2413 Enacted Requires that a student in kindergarten through grade three who is not reading proficiently and is persistently at risk in reading based on locally determined or statewide assessments, must be provided intensive reading instruction by the school district and must be reassessed for reading proficiency using locally determined or statewide assessments, including periodic universal screening and annual standard-based assessments before the child is retained in grade three.
Utah H 1 Enacted Education appropriations bill; provides funding for a K-3 reading improvement program and an electronic elementary reading tool.


P-3 General

This section focuses on bills that are not captured by the above issue areas. This includes social-emotional learning, student overall well-being, school climate, among several relevant areas in the prekindergarten through third grade spectrum.

2016 P-3 General Legislation
State Bill Number Disposition Legislation
Kentucky H 303 Enacted Provides appropriation to fund statewide preschool programs; directs $7.5M to incentivize public-private partnerships between school districts and childcare providers to develop full-day, high-quality programs for eligible children.
New Hampshire H 1145 Enacted Establishes a committee to study suspensions and expulsions of children in licensed preschools and in kindergarten through grade three. 
Oregon H 4002 Enacted Directs Department of Education to develop and implement statewide education plan to address chronic absences of students in public schools.
Utah S 67 Enacted Creates the Partnerships for Student Success Grant Program to create community partnerships aimed at improving academic outcomes including kindergarten readiness, third grade mathematics and reading proficiency, among others.
Virginia H 47 Enacted Establishes the Mixed-Delivery Preschool Services Fund and Grant Program for the purpose of awarding grants on a competitive basis to urban, suburban, and rural community applicants to field-test innovative strategies and evidence-based practices that support a robust system of mixed-delivery preschool services.

Matt Weyer is a senior policy specialist with NCSL's Education Program.