Early voting underway for pre-K sales tax - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Early voting underway for pre-K sales tax

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As both sides agree pre-K is a good thing, they differ on how to get there. As both sides agree pre-K is a good thing, they differ on how to get there.
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(WMC-TV) - Early voting is underway for the Memphis pre-K sales tax. Both sides of the tax have increased their efforts for your vote.

As both sides agree pre-K is a good thing, they differ on how to get there.

"This is an island of misfit arguments," said Memphis Councilman Shea Flinn, who is for the sales tax.

He says all ballot language guarantees all $47 million dollars will go to fund pre-K.

He also says all four-year-olds are eligible and that the money will cover about 8,000 children. But research shows only about 5,100 currently are not served.

"Every child is covered. Any assertion otherwise is a lie and needs to be supported by facts," said Flinn.

Reverend Kenneth Whalum is against the sales tax hike.

"It's a lie because they can't provide high-quality pre-K for every child in Memphis," said Whalum.

He says his research shows there's about 10,000 4-year-olds in Memphis, not counting 5-year-olds who would not meet the birthday cutoff for Kindergarten.

"The bottom line ... is that Memphis elected officials cannot be trusted to do what they say they're going to with regard to education," said Whalum.

Whalum says he believes the sales tax hike is regressive, unfairly burdening the poor.

"Of course, I'm for pre-K. That's why I'm against the sales tax increase," said Whalum.

Flinn says there is no other plan.

"If it's gonna have sustainable success it has to have a dedicated revenue source. The only way to find that is on the sales tax," said Flinn. "If you believe that this is too much to ask then what's going to change? We have to change what we're doing in this community. This is our opportunity to do it."

Both sides agree on one thing: They ask you go vote.

Election Day is November 21.

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