Major U.S. cities take lead on pre-K education
With education reforms in the U. S. stalled in Washington and state capitals, cities are taking the lead. Education Week’s Christina Samuels reports that preschool regimens funded by tax increases are making headway nationwide.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio envisions a citywide program for four-year olds funded by a tax on residents earning more than $500,000 a year. In 2012, San Antonio approved a sales tax increase to expand preschool to 3,700 youngsters. Seattle is studying options for funding preschool for three- and four-year olds.
Samuels notes that some proposals stall. Memphis voters rejected a sales tax increase in November that would have added 5,000 children to preschool. In Houston, an effort to grow an existing pre-K initiative through a property-tax increase was blocked over legalities.
After sparring with de Blasio over funding, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — who supports pre-K but oppose tax increases — pledged Wednesday that the state would pay “whatever [the mayor] needs,” The New York Times reports here. But Cuomo also predicted that the state legislature would reject de Blasio’s proposed tax hike on the wealthy.