San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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December 5th, 2008
Texas State University, United Way of Hays County hosting Pre-K Now National Satellite Conference to set early education agenda for 81st legislative session

Texas District 25 Sen. Jeff Wentworth will provide opening remarks for the Pre-K Now national satellite conference to be broadcast at Texas State University on Dec. 10 for area early childhood advocates.Texas State University serves as one of Texas’ 28 host sites for the national satellite teleconference sponsored by the early childhood education advocacy group Pre-K Now. “We are pleased to be again hosting this broadcast for area early childhood service providers, policy makers, advocates, and students,” said Kim Porterfield, director of Community Relations for Texas State.

This is the fourth year that Texas State has partnered with the United Way of Hays County to provide access to the national satellite conference, which is free and open to anyone in the community.

This year’s conference is titled “Breaking Down Barriers to Quality Pre-K,” and it will include uplinks to video and audio discussions from early care and education advocates and leaders from all across the country on winning victories for young children and implementing high-quality early education.

Hosted by Ray Suarez of the PBS NewsHour, the satellite conference has proven to be a very successful tool for pre-k advocates and supporters. The conference has continually grown in size and scope and this year’s broadcast will be more exciting than ever.

Immediately following the national broadcast, the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC), the statewide early childhood education advocacy organization, will conduct a Texas-specific broadcast.

The TECEC broadcast will include discussion and dialogue on the early childhood landscape in the Lone Star State, as well as commentary from former Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff, Senator Judith Zaffirini, and Senator Leticia Van de Putte. TECEC will also present its 2009 Legislative Agenda for the upcoming 81st Session of the Texas Legislature.

Sen. Jeff Wentworth is serving his sixth term in the Texas Senate where he was president pro tem in 2004-2005 and where he was inaugurated as Governor of Texas for a Day on November 20, 2004.

Wentworth, a fourth-generation Texan, was first elected to the Texas Senate in 1992 after serving nearly five years in the Texas House of Representatives. The Republican senator from San Antonio represents more than 700,000 Texans in six counties located in the heart of the state.

He is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence and serves on the Administration; Transportation and Homeland Security; and Intergovernmental Relations Committees. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Natural Resources Foundation of Texas and the Board of Trustees of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.

Prior public service includes five years in the Texas House of Representatives, one year as a university system regent, six years as a county commissioner, two years as a city attorney, three years as a Congressional assistant, and three years as a United States Army counterintelligence officer.

To register for the event, call the Office of Community Relations at 245-9645 or email The event begins with lunch at 11, followed by Wentworth’s opening remarks at 11:30. The broadcast is from noon to 3 p.m.

Free parking will be available in the LBJ Student Center Parking Garage, off Comanche Street. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, visit the Pre-K Now website at or the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC) website at

by Mark Hendricks
University News Service

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