The war of words over the Pre-K 4 SA ballot proposition is heating up with the release of fundraising figures and some sharp words by an elected official.
Signs supporting the plan to increase the sales tax to pay for more early childhood education are sprouting around town and a list of prominent local businesses is helping to pay for them.
Campaign Chairman Christian Archer said grocery store giant HEB has given $100,000 and Rackspace Hosting has given $50,000.
Archer said $50,000 is also on the way from Toyota and that insurance and investment giant USAA is giving $25,000.
Those hefty contributions have Mayor Julian Castro feeling good about the success of his pet project.
“I'm feeling very confident,” Castro said. “I would ask folks to really study the proposal."
And he said the fact that the city’s biggest businesses are supporting the effort should send a message to voters.
“They understand how important this is for an economically prosperous San Antonio for a good workforce for the future," Castro said.
Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff has long opposed Pre-K 4 SA.
He said the plan does not include students in the county or in other cities in Bexar County and that it is poorly planned.
On Tuesday, he also noted that it wrongly uses leftover bond money from city bonds passed in 2007.
"You're supposed to utilize those on similar projects to what you voted on,” Wolff said. “That's not the case here."
He said the ballot language does not tell voters about the planned use of the leftover bond money.
"I would prefer that the mayor step back and rework this plan,” Wolff said. “Work it so that it is available to everyone and at the very least don't create another government agency."
Castro said some of those opposed to Pre-K 4 SA are spreading misinformation about what he says is a worthwhile project.
"This is a very strong start,” Castro said. “It's not perfect, but don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. It's a very strong start."
Wolff said one thing both sides agree on is that Pre-Kindergarten is good for children.