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  H.B. No. 1615
  relating to strategies to increase the availability of child-care
  and prekindergarten programs.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 302, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 302.0051 and 302.0063 to read as
  The commission shall establish and administer a prekindergarten
  partnership program to assist child-care providers who meet the
  definition of an eligible private provider under Section 29.171,
  Education Code, in partnering with local school districts and
  open-enrollment charter schools to provide the prekindergarten
  classes required under Section 29.153, Education Code.
         (b)  Using existing funds, the commission shall coordinate
  with the Texas Education Agency to develop joint strategies to
  expand the availability of prekindergarten partnership programs. 
  SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.  (a) In this section, "program" means the
  professional development scholarship program established under
  this section. 
         (b)  From funds appropriated for the purpose, the commission
  shall establish and administer a professional development
  scholarship program for current and prospective child-care
         (c)  A scholarship under the program may be used to pay an
  individual's costs related to:
               (1)  earning:
                     (A)  a Child Development Associate (CDA)
  credential; or
                     (B)  an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in
  early childhood education or another related field from a public or
  private institution of higher education; and
               (2)  participation in a registered child-care
  apprenticeship program.
         (d)  The program may be used to pay for other ancillary costs
  for child-care workers who are enrolled in an educational program
  or apprenticeship program described by Subsection (c), including:
               (1)  books and supplies;
               (2)  release time or stipends to attend classes;
               (3)  costs related to the examination for the Child
  Development Associate (CDA) credential;
               (4)  travel to attend classes or attend a hands-on
  practicum training; and
               (5)  stipends for mentors or master teachers who
  provide hands-on training at a child-care program.
         SECTION 2.  Section 2308.256(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A board is composed as follows:
               (1)  representatives of the private sector, who:
                     (A)  constitute a majority of the membership of
  the board; and
                     (B)  are owners of business concerns, chief
  executives or chief operating officers of nongovernmental
  employers, or other private sector executives who have substantial
  management or policy responsibilities;
               (2)  representatives of organized labor and
  community-based organizations, who constitute not less than 15
  percent of the membership of the board; and
               (3)  representatives of each of the following:
                     (A)  educational agencies, including community
  colleges and secondary and postsecondary practitioners
  representing vocational education, that are representative of all
  educational agencies in the service delivery area;
                     (B)  vocational rehabilitation agencies;
                     (C)  public assistance agencies;
                     (D)  economic development agencies;
                     (E)  the public employment service;
                     (F)  local literacy councils; [and]
                     (G)  adult basic and continuing education
  organizations; and
                     (H)  the child-care workforce.
         SECTION 3.  Section 2308.256(g), Government Code, is
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 1615 was passed by the House on April
  13, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 126, Nays 21, 2 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 1615 was passed by the Senate on May
  17, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 26, Nays 5.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________