Castro makes push for 'Pre-K 4 SA'

Critics say the city should not be involved in education issues

Author: Justin Horne, Meteorologist/Reporter,
Published On: Sep 21 2012 06:13:37 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 21 2012 06:35:19 PM CDT

Inside the San Antonio College Early Childhood Center Friday morning, Mayor Julian Castro made another push for support for the “Pre-K 4 SA” initiative.

"It just makes sense, for $7.81,” said Castro to a group of childcare providers.

Castro’s task remains convincing voters that in an increase in sales tax for a city sponsored Pre-K program is necessary.

"This is the most important investment that San Antonians can make in the economic prosperity of the city,” said Castro, who added that it was vital for a competent future workforce, too.

The program would be funded by an 1/8 of cent increase in sales tax and that, according to Castro, would cost the average San Antonio family about $7.81 a year.

That number, his critics say, is misleading.

"It’s going to cost a total of over $250 million to taxpayers, plus each student is going to cost something like $15,000 and that’s an exorbitant amount of money,” said George Rodriguez, with the San Antonio Alliance for Progress.

Castro appeared to focus on the middle class, who he said would benefit most by affordable all-day Pre-K for their children.

“We have a lot of families who don’t make little enough to come in under the income guidelines, but they don’t make so much that they can just throw down a $1,000 a month for high quality full day Pre-K,” said Castro.

"If people really want to find a place of quality that they want to send their kids; then it’s very easy for them to shop around,” contended Rodriguez, who believed San Antonians had a choice of over 668 private Pre-K facilities.

Rodriguez said the city had no business even being involved with the matter, and said it should be left to school districts to work out.

"He is just another big government liberal who wants government do to everything for everybody,” added Rodriguez.