Pre-K sales tax debate helps solidify opinions - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pre-K sales tax debate helps solidify opinions

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Pre-K is something all sides seem to agree on. However, the decision is how to financially provide it. Pre-K is something all sides seem to agree on. However, the decision is how to financially provide it.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - While it is difficult to compete with the commanding presence of Reverend Kenneth Whalum, Dr. Barbara Prescott gave it a shot.

"There are many, many studies that show the benefits of pre-K," stated Prescott.

Pre-K is something all sides seem to agree on.

"Nobody is going to argue against high quality effective pre-K," said Whalum.

However, the decision is how to financially provide it.

"The issue is how are we going to pay for it, how are we going to pay for it, how are we going to pay for it," questioned Whalum.

One option is the half-cent sales tax hike, which will occur if a referendum passes Thursday with Memphis voters. This would provide pre-K for thousands of kids not currently covered.

A sticking point between Whalum and Prescott was the fact that the city-connected commission would oversee the money.

"But, that's why this ballot language is so specific about how the monies would be spent," replied Prescott.

While the debate did help solidify some options, others may still need persuading.

"This is an opportunity I hope this community will take advantage of," Prescott said.

In addition to the referendum, the special election to replace the late State Representative Lois DeBerry is also on the ballot Thursday, November 21.

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