SAN ANTONIO -- Are you willing to pay more sales tax every time you shop in order to help pay for pre-schoolers to go to school? If the Pre-K 4 SA Plan gets passed by voters, your extra payment goes toward sending all kids to pre-k.
As the election draws closer, opponents of this pre-k plan, including Commissioner Kevin Wolff, say this plan is like reinventing the wheel.
When asked if he attended pre-school, Mayor Julian Castro says he did not. And while he admits that he turned out pretty well with his own success in politics without a pre-school education, he says these days, thousands of kids could be left behind without it.
"There are many more examples of children who, today in our city, are getting left behind before they even start," said Mayor Castro.
"I'm wondering why they are trying to raise taxes," demanded voter Peter Paul Ruiz.
Ruiz was walking past City Hall as KENS 5 waited to interview Mayor Castro. Ruiz doesn't support paying a higher sales tax (1/8 percent) to pay for pre-kindergarten. He says that's the state's job.
County Commissioner Kevin Wolff opposes the mayor's proposal and says that the Texas Education Code already requires districts to offer pre-k classes. "To me it's like reinventing the wheel," said Wolff. "Redundancy we don't need."
We spoke to Northside ISD, the city's largest school district, about it's current enrollment of pre-schoolers.
"Half attend in morning, the other half in the afternoon," described Pascual Gonzales, spokesman for NISD.
The state only pays for half a day. NISD has 2,800 students enrolled in pre-k.
"The state does not fund a full day pre-kindergarten program," added Gonzales.
But the mayor says his plan calls for a full day, every day and for every kid. Not just for families that qualify. "It's not duplicating," said Mayor Castro. "Its adding to what's happening now."