The Mayor’s plan will give our youngest children a great foundation, help us reduce inequality and poverty and improve our schools. The sugary beverage tax is the best way to pay for it. Our kids are worth it.
We can expand quality pre-k for 6,500 children
- By the time children enter school, 90% of their brain circuits are set. They form their personalities, social skills, and approaches to learning and problem-solving in response to their earliest experiences.
- Much research shows that a positive, high-quality early learning environment – with skilled teachers – can help a child learn despite stresses in their home and neighborhood.
- Half of Philadelphia’s children start Kindergarten without the basic skills they need to succeed. Children who start behind often stay behind.
- Most of our working families cannot afford the cost of high quality pre-k. They need a leg up, but state and federal funds for child care and pre-k are not enough for all the children in need.
- The City can help. High quality pre-k is the best investment we can make for the youngest generation: it pays for itself in the future with lower crime, higher graduation rates, less need for special education and less poverty.
- The $ millions that are saved can be spent on other priorities like teachers, resources, new schools and extra-curricular activities.
- Investing in early education creates jobs for city residents – more jobs than investing in other types of community development.
Combined with state funding, Mayor’s Pre-K plan will contribute to over 25,000 high quality pre-K slots for the 40,000 3- and 3-year olds in our city. It requires an investment of $256 million over the next five years.
The question is how to pay for it.
Philadelphia is reducing its taxes on small businesses and working families in order to spur growth and jobs. Big soda has big profits that can be tapped to help rebuild our city. This is the only tax we can levy that won’t hurt our economy more than it will help.