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Should city taxes be used to extend pre-K?

By Carolina Astrain
March 2, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.

Students Mikaelyn Villareal, 5, and Dre Allen, 4, in pre-k class at Gross Elementary follow a class lesson at the computer center table.

Students Mikaelyn Villareal, 5, and Dre Allen, 4, in pre-k class at Gross Elementary follow a class lesson at the computer center table.

About 53 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds in Victoria are not eligible for the school district's pre-K program.

The state provides funding for half-day pre-K, and the school district uses federal and local funds to make up for the rest, said Robert Jaklich, Victoria Independent School District superintendent.

The superintendent said he would like to see pre-K's reach extended to students whose families don't qualify for pre-K and who perhaps can't afford private school tuition.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro headed a city-funded initiative, Pre-K 4 SA, to be used by local school districts as a co-op service for early childhood education.

The project was approved by voters during the November 2012 election.

"The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child, it is whether we can afford not to," said Jaklich, quoting Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children's Defense Fund.

Pro: Pre-K education should be priority

Con: City taxes should be kept for police, roads, other public services

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