NALEO Texas Statewide Roundtables on Early Childhood Education and Care - NALEO Educational Fund


January 16 and 30, 2019 / February 14 and 28, 2019
Texas State Capitol | Members Lounge | Austin, TX

One in ten of the nation’s children reside in Texas. Of those children, approximately half are Latino, with an even greater percentage amongst the state’s zero-to-eight population. Demographic projections indicate that Texas will continue to be at the forefront of the growing Latino population in the United States. Latino children will grow up to be the future workforce and integral drivers of the state’s economy.

In recent years, policymakers have made significant strides in building bipartisan, cross-collaborative support toward expanded investment in the youngest Texans. Research demonstrates that investment in the early years is both beneficial to children and their parents in the short-term and pays dividends towards the future economic development of the state by building a healthier, better educated, and more sustainable workforce. With one of the fastest growing economies in the nation, the success of the youngest children of Texas is intrinsically linked to the state’s opportunity to achieve its highest potential.

Over the course of four independent luncheons, this Roundtable series will cover:

  • • The Youngest Texans: Population Projections, Implications, and Opportunities
  • • Ensuring Tomorrow’s Promise By Counting All in the Census 2020
  • • Updates on the Texas Commission on Public School Finance: Opportunities to Build a Strong Foundation
  • • Aligning Quality Child Care with Texas Workforce Development Needs

These convenings will provide policymakers with the opportunity to hear the latest research and best practices from leading experts on issues affecting Texas families with young children. Participants will engage in thought provoking policy conversations and exchange ideas with colleagues on how to strengthen opportunities for families, thereby improving future outcomes for the State of Texas.

Roundtable Series

The Youngest Texans: Population Projections, Implications, and Opportunities

It is projected that by 2022, Latinos will be the largest population group in Texas. Already, Latino children make up about half of the 7.5 million children currently residing in the State. To ensure the success of the state’s future workforce, policymakers will need to meet the needs of a rapidly changing population. In particular, policymakers have the opportunity to advance a vision and policy priorities to buffer against adverse experiences, such as natural disasters and poverty, and build a pathway towards the healthy physical, social, and educational development of the state’s youngest children. In this convening, participants learned about the demographic shifts of this young group of children and received an overview of how policy focused on building resiliency in the earliest years is a meaningful investment in the future of the state.

Session Chair:
Hon. Armando “Mando” Martinez, Texas State Representative, Secretary, Mexican American Legislative Caucus; Board Member, NALEO

• Dr. Lila Valencia, Senior Demographer, Texas Demographic Center

• Mr. Luis Figueroa, Legislative and Policy Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities
Presentation | Resource: 1

Additional Resource: 1

Ensuring Tomorrow’s Promise By Counting All in the Census 2020

During the Census of 2010, approximately 400,000 Latino children under the age of four were not counted, with 75,000 of those children residing in Texas.  In addition to ensuring fair political representation, Census data are also utilized to determine the federal resources each state receives, impacting school funding formulas and programs such as Head Start and CHIP.  This convening provided an update of the current preparations for the 2020 Census and strategies that policymakers can adopt for a fair and accurate count in Texas to ensure a prosperous future.

Session Chair:
Hon. Cesar Blanco, Texas State Representative

• Mr. Arturo Vargas, Chief Executive Officer, NALEO Educational Fund
Presentation | Resources: 1 | 2 | 3

Updates on the Texas Commission on Public School Finance: Opportunities to Build a Strong Foundation

In 2015, Governor Abbott shared his vision of improving schools by starting early and bolstering early childhood education. With districts facing literacy benchmarks as early as 3rd grade, it is crucial that students enter schools with a strong foundation to build the skills a 21st Century workforce requires. In this convening, participants received an overview of how the state is currently supporting early learning, the challenges districts are facing to sustain quality programs, and opportunities state legislators have to leverage the findings from the Texas Commission on Public School Finance report to support the future success of the youngest children of Texas.

Opening Remarks:
Hon. Dennis Bonnen, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives

Session Chair:
Hon. Diego Bernal, Texas State Representative; Vice Chair of Public Education Committee; Member, Texas Commission on Public School Finance

• Mr. Howard Morrison, Statewide Coordinator, Early Childhood Education Division, Texas Education Agency

• Hon. Stephanie Rubin, Chief Executive Officer, Texans Care for Children; Member, Texas Early Learning Council
Presentation | Resources: 1 | 2

Aligning Quality Child Care with Workforce Development Needs

Texas leads the nation in job growth, and Latinos comprise a critical share of the Texas workforce. However, many Latino parents struggle to balance work requirements with their child care needs.  Furthermore, access to quality child care during the critical early years of brain development is essential to laying the foundation of long-term success of young children. To support the state’s rapidly growing economy, workers must have access to the education needed to support Texas’s youngest children and the skills-development training that a 21st Century workforce demands. This convening highlighted funding opportunities and strategic partnerships that can guide policymakers in creating pathways toward empowering its current and future workforce.

Session Chair:
Hon. Mary González, Texas State Representative; Vice Chair, Mexican American Legislative Caucus

• Dr. Quianta Moore, Fellow in Child Health Policy, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University
Presentation | Resource: 1

• Hon. Robert D. Thomas, Commissioner Representing the Public, Texas Workforce Commission

• Ms. Shay Everitt, Director, Early Childhood Education Initiatives, Children at Risk
Presentation | Resource: 1

Additional Resource: 1


Title Sponsor

Supporter Sponsor

Ascension Seton

Roundtable Partners

Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives (MALC)