Raise taxes for pre-kindergarten classes or seek to encourage the roll of parents in preparing their children for kindergarten?

Mailer distributed by pre-k sales tax advocates

Mailer distributed by pre-k sales tax advocates

Update: Unofficial results on the referendum vote:
No 17,636  (60.2%)
Yes 11,659 (39.8%)

On November 21, 2013, voters in Memphis, Tennessee, will have the opportunity in a referendum to implement, or not, a one-half cent increase in the local sales tax in order to fund a city government created pre-kindergarten program with any money remaining from that revenue stream not used for pre-k going to lowering the property tax rate.  On November 16 our three regular conversationalists discussed the property tax hike proposal, the need for pre-k in the city, and the value of pre-k education. Is it wise for the city to undertake such an endeavor?


Length: 44 minutes, 2 seconds.

BONUS MATERIAL: If you listened to the above conversation you know some of the issues involved. Now you can listen to a proponent of the referendum, Dr. Barbara Prescott, and an opponent of it, Rev. Kenneth Whalum, Jr. Both of the speakers are former members of the Memphis School Board. The League of Women Voters of  Memphis and Shelby County sponsored a forum at the central library in Memphis the evening of November 18, 2013. The following is the discussion. Length 1 hour, 28 minutes.


Problem listening to the above audio? See the alternative below.
Alternative: it is noticed that often when attempting to play the above audio the player remains in a “buffering” state beyond a reasonable time. Alternatively, if your system is configured to do so, you may listen to the audio by directly accessing the file at http://apronetwork.com/amc/tax-pre-k-debate1.mp3. In our testing, this method played the audio promptly.

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One Comment to “Raise taxes for pre-kindergarten classes or seek to encourage the roll of parents in preparing their children for kindergarten?”

  1. Although I am taking notes during our conversation, I find I am frequently failing to mention thoughts I have about our subject as we cover so many aspects on the topic. Do either of you have that problem? Today, for example, I responded in an opposite manner to Darrell’s observation that he rarely heard people involved in the local education situation say that what is best for our children is the top priority. I failed to add, however, that I actually disagree with that being the top priority. I think our top priority should be what is best for our community as whole, adults, children, and businesses. I, for one, believe providing an excellent education for the children of our community is a mandatory element in doing what is best for everyone. So while pursuing good schools I do not make other goals like responsible government, good values, crime reduction, rational tax policy, etc. subsidiary to education. Of course, having a well educated populace is very likely to affect these other goals in a favorable manner. I would surmise my colleagues would not take issue with this point of view but it may be that I am more likely to approve of those who verbally call for good schools as a part of an overall goal of what is best for the whole community. This may well be a semantic technicality, but it is one I favor.
    — Ken

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