Heartland Institute Reacts to Mayor Castro’s Pitch for $7.81 for Pre-K Campaign

September 21, 2012

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro today released a YouTube video featuring children asking the public to support “Pre-K 4 SA,” an 1/8th-cent sales tax initiative that would fund full-day preschool for thousands of the city’s 4-year-olds. Castro urged citizens to contribute $7.81 to the Pre-K 4 SA campaign to help it pass – what the mayor says the new tax will cost each resident and business in the city.

The following statement from Jeff Judson, a San Antonio resident and senior fellow at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at tnash@heartland.org and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/731-9364.
“Today Mayor Castro held a press conference encouraging citizens to contribute $7.81 to his campaign to create a new city government pre-K program. This clever tactic attempts to highlight the meager amount of tax money they project each citizen will pay for the program. But $7.81 multiplied by millions of taxpayers and businesses still equals a quarter of a billion dollars sucked out of the local economy.

“The 22,000 4-year-olds who the campaign claims it will send to pre-K programs are ones who are already eligible for free, high-quality pre-K. All the tax will do is cannibalize existing programs that are teaching kids now. And the difference for kids between all-day pre-K and half-day pre-K is lunch, recess, a nap, and one hour of instruction. Is this worth $250 million, and a new city bureaucracy to run it?

“If you think this is more about politics than children, you’d do more good by donating $7.81 to The Heartland Institute, which gets out the truth about the small returns of universal pre-K programs.” (See: www.heartland.org/pre-K)

Jeff Judson
Senior Fellow, Director
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.