FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2000
AUSTIN, TX--To announce the pre-filing of his School Calendar Bill setting a parameter for public schools to begin classes at more reasonable start dates, state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) will hold a press conference on Wed., Nov. 15, 2000, at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol.
At the press event, Sen. Lucio will provide details of his bill, which includes provisions for migrant students and for communities in setting calendars. Copies of the legislation will be available there.
Scheduled to attend are several Senators and House Representatives who support the proposed measure. Parents and teachers, many of them from outside the Austin area, who are concerned with school calendars that continue to encroach upon summer vacations, will be present.
State Sen. J.E. "Buster" Brown, R-Lake Jackson, who chairs the Natural Resources Committee, cannot attend because of a conflicting work schedule but will send a statement on the impact of school vehicle traffic on air quality in the state, especially large urban areas. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, a co-author of the bill, is attending and will express his support and interest for this legislation. Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander said her office is still developing a more comprehensive report on the economic impact of early school calendars on the Texas economy and will be releasing it at a later date.
On the House side, several members have agreed to sponsor the bill and others have called to express their support but have not yet signed on. Many Representatives have indicated they plan to attend the event. Officially confirmed to co-author the bill in the Senate as of today are Senators Wentworth and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio.
Also invited to speak are Mr. Paul Terrell, first place winner of a high school essay contest on the benefits of a longer summer vacation sponsored by Texans for a Traditional School Year; Ms. Norma Ebbit with Texans for a Traditional School Year; Mr. Michael Plaster, president of the Board of Directors with the Men and Fathers Resource Center of Austin representing non-custodial parents; Ms. Anne Culver, senior vice president of Government Relations with the Greater Houston Partnership, who will speak about air quality issues; Mr. Gene Hanson, president of the Rio Grande Valley Central Labor Council; and Mr. Paul Conlon, president of the Weslaco Federation of Teachers.
For more information, please contact Doris Sanchez, press secretary, at 512-463-0127.