Monday, July 09, 2018
Mayor Sly Pitches KCMO Pre-K Sales Tax
A pricey proposition that offers an abstract "benefit" to so many locals who don't have youngsters. Here's the pitch:
Blog Of Mayor Sly James: Pre-K: Investing in Tomorrow’s Leaders
In order to keep moving in the right direction, we have to do more to make sure every child shows up ready to learn on their first day of kindergarten. That’s why I’m supporting this community-led effort to invest in high-quality pre-K for all four- and five-year-olds in Kansas City.
It works like this: The city will collect a ⅜ cent sales tax on purchases made within our city limits. That will generate approximately $30 million each year that will be used to help all families afford high-quality pre-K instruction as well as to invest in pre-K programs to ensure that as many as possible are high quality.
Every Kansas City, Missouri, family with a four- or five-year-old will be eligible for a discount on pre-K tuition the year before the child begins kindergarten, but the amount of the discount will depend on their income and the quality of the pre-K program.
At a time when 50% of children enter the public schools in Kansas City behind both academically and emotionally, high-quality pre-K is a proven way to ensure that students start school ready to learn. We know that 40% of zip codes throughout the city – North, South, East, West – have a shortage of affordable, high-quality pre-K opportunities. I simply can’t walk away from City Hall a year from now knowing that so many children and families are not being served and not try to do something about it now.
To be clear, this is not a program that only benefits families with four- and five-year-olds. When we invest in pre-K, the entire city benefits . . .
You decide . . .