San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro put on his "Pre-K 4 SA" running shoes at Lion’s Field Park for a three-mile trek, each step symbolizing 5,700 children not currently in full-day classes.
He was joined on the run to City Hall by Rey Saldana, District 4 city councilman, and initially by about 70 Pre-K students from the George Gervin Academy.
The event was to remind voters Election Day is less than 24 hours away.
At issue is an eighth of a cent increase in the city’s sales tax that the mayor said eventually will benefit 22,000 children over the next eight years.
“This is not a Democratic plan, a Republican plan. This is a San Antonio plan that is in the best interest of all our children,” Castro said, given the city’s 40 per cent drop-out rate.
However, opponents like George Rodriguez, with the Coalition for Responsive Government, said the city wants to create its own public school bureaucracy.
“Liberals play on the emotion of an issue rather than on the facts and the figures,” Rodriguez said. “The headache we’ve got is liberals keep saying, ‘We want more money, we want more money.”
However, Castro said if voters defeat proposal, “The alternative is we’re going to do nothing and Austin is not going to save us. They’ve shown that they’re not willing to make education a priority.”