despite concerns that it may be illegal for city to participate in education
Despite the emergence of strong opposition from northside State lawmaker Lyle Larson and Commissioner Kevin Wolff, San Antonio City Council appears poised to approve placing Mayor Castro's one eighth cent sales tax increase proposal on the ballot in November, and the vote of council may be unanimous, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"Voters will have the opportunity to vote on the adoption of a sales and use tax at the rate of one eighth of one percent," City Clerk Leticia Vacek says.
The money will be used to establish a brand new city bureaucracy called the San Antonio Early Childhood Municipal Development Corporation, which will establish four Pre-K Centers of Excellence across the city to offer early childhood education programs to four year olds, and help train teachers and home-schooling parents.
“For the purpose of financing authorized programs for early childhood education,” Vacek said.
The increase in the sales tax will be permanent, and will place San Antonio at the maximum allowed sales tax level.
Larson and Wolff say Pre-K programs are already being offered at taxpayer expense by all of the 19 separate Independent School Districts which operate in San Antonio, and the problem is too few parents take advantage of them, they say spaces in the programs are available all over the city.
They also say the election may actually be illegal, because the City Charter does not allow the city to muscle onto the turf of other elected officials, including the elected school board members who supervise the ISDs. They say the City Charter should first be changed to allow the city to engage in education, or the money should be spent on programs which the city is actually allowed to engage in, like police protection.