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Mayor announces P16Plus Council to push for higher educational standards in San

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Mayor Phil Hardberger announced today the formation of San Antonio’s first citywide P16Plus Council. The P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County will bring together educational leaders from pre-kindergarten (“P”) through college (“16Plus”) alongside business and community leaders to push for higher educational standards across San Antonio.

“Never before in San Antonio has any group tried to pull together so many strong leaders to focus on the pressing educational problems facing our community,” Mayor Hardberger said.

The Council’s chief goal is to ensure that all San Antonio students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college or in the workforce.

Bartell Zachry, chairman of Zachry Construction Corporation, will be the P16Plus Council’s first chairman. “There is no greater economic development tool, or one that can increase the quality of life for individuals and families than education,” Mr. Zachry said.
Chairman Zachry promised to focus on results.

The P16Plus Council was an outgrowth of the Summit on Education and Workforce Development held by Mayor Hardberger in 2006.

A P16Plus Formation committee, chaired by Higher Education Coordinating Board Member Elaine Mendoza and St. Mary’s University President Charles Cotrell, has worked for months to help establish the council as an independent entity. Ms. Mendoza and Dr. Cotrell, along with several other members of the formation committee, will also serve on the council’s first executive committee.

Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes came to San Antonio’s City Hall Tuesday to lend the P16Plus Council his support. Because of San Antonio’s size, its explosive growth and its demographics, this effort has the potential to serve as a national model, Commissioner Paredes said.

“What happens here will be watched by every other state and city in the country,” Paredes said.

The P16Plus Council will succeed, Mayor Hardberger said, because of the commitment of such strong champions in the community.

“A new San Antonio should have one goal: every child is prepared to succeed in college and the workforce.” Mayor Hardberger said. “We should accept no less, whether we are parents, school, or community.”