News Release from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2007
Contact:Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121

Senate Passes Zaffirini's Expansion of the Texas Early Education Model

Austin, TX -- The Texas Senate today (Monday) passed the committee substitute for Senate Bill 50 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, which would expand Texas Early Education Model (TEEM) sites throughout Texas; increase the quality of educator training; raise reimbursement rates for child care providers; and improve the recruitment, retention and quality of early childhood education professionals.

"Research clearly demonstrates a strong relationship between the education and experience of early childhood education professionals and the quality of teaching and care in early learning programs," Senator Zaffirini said. "Despite this evidence, early childhood professionals in Texas lack incentives and face barriers to pursuing professional development and higher education opportunities. CSSB 50 changes this."

CSSB 50 would enhance the quality of early childhood learning programs by establishing partnerships between child care centers and institutions of higher education across Texas and by improving training opportunities for early childhood education professionals. What's more, the bill would establish the Texas Advisory Council on Early Care and Education Career Development to evaluate these changes and make additional recommendations to improve early childhood education professional development opportunities.

CSSB 50 builds on the success of Senator Zaffirini's SB 76 (2003), which established TEEM and SB 23 (2005), which provided significant funding for TEEM.

This bill must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to Governor Rick Perry for final approval. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free in-state hotline, 1-877-824-7038.

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