Viewers sound off on potential tax increase

Sales tax would provide pre-K programs

SAN ANTONIO - Mayor Julian Castro's Brainpower Initiative Task Force is asking city council to let residents vote on a 1/8-cent sales tax increase to fund early childhood education programs.

An official presentation was made Wednesday during the city council's "B" session detailing the plan, which would call for the council to vote in August whether to put the issue on the November ballot for voters.

The sales tax increase would reportedly generate $27 million in the first year and as much as $31 million by the fifth year.

The money would help approximately 4,000 four-year-old children attend pre-K programs that may not exist without the extra funding.

Juan Campos was at Woodlawn Park with his grandson, Levi, Wednesday enjoying the playground. Levi won't turn four for a few more years, but Campos sees the increase as a wise investment.

"Anything that will help children, especially at the early ages to learn is beneficial," said Campos.

Alan Campos, no relation, agreed.

"I think it's a good thing to do because my children, they've been going to school since they were little in programs and it pushes them a little bit more to learn," said Alan Campos.

Jenni Galindo said she would support the increase but with a catch.

"I would support this if and only if a parental involvement component was made mandatory," she said.

The plan would admit children based on parent income levels but would also admit other students on a sliding scale.

Alan Campos' daughter will enter kindergarten in the Fall and he sees first hand the benefit of sending her to pre-school, having sent her since she was 2.

"Now she knows how to write her name, basically the alphabet, count to 100, so it's a big help," said Alan. "I think it's a good idea and it's well spent."


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