Texas Governor Greg Abbott Visits Emerson Elementary, Promotes Early Education

Texas Governor Greg Abbott Visits Emerson Elementary, Promotes Early Education

by Kim Powell

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Before the school bell rang at the end of the day at Emerson Elementary, Governor Greg Abbott stopped by two classrooms to see how things were going. It's all part of his plan to improve the education system in Texas by starting at the pre-K level.

"We do have a concern in some classrooms and that is that there are some parts where for a four-year-old, it really is nothing more than a glorified daycare center," Abbott explained.

Reading, writing and arithmetic have always been the staples of learning, but with the changing times and the advances in technology, Gov. Abbott is pushing to begin this type of education much sooner.

"The fact is that the brain is growing and changing so rapidly at an early age. The sooner we begin the education process, the faster the children are able to progress," Abbott said.

"There's our computers and then I have the Smart Board and I also have an iPad that I can carry around and so I can control the Smart Board and the computer wherever I'm at in the classroom," a kindergarten teacher explained.

Emerson Elementary already has full-day pre-K classes, which is something that is becoming more and more popular across the state.

"We definitely need pre-K, we need full day pre-K and we need funding for full-day pre-K," Tracy Phernetton, the principal of Emerson Elementary, said. "This is where children start their learning. They are learning literacy, science, math, social studies, fine arts--everything that the older students are learning--but they do need a jump start."

"If we could replicate success like this across the state of Texas, our children would start out far more advanced," Abbott said.

Gov. Abbott says he is visiting several schools across the state. He also says he'll be bringing some of the best techniques he observed back to Austin to advocate for the need of early education.