Mayor stumps on Sunday for Pre-K tax - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Mayor stumps on Sunday for Pre-K tax

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The special election set for November 21st to fund the Pre-K Trust, by adding an additional half-cent to the local sales tax, is just weeks away.

Mayor A C Wharton, who supports the tax hike, is working overtime on Sundays to help build his case.

Wharton points out that all of the suburban municipalities have voted for a tax increase to fund their schools, and the city should do the same for the Pre-K Trust.

Speaking to several local churches Sunday, the mayor said experts have proven, if children are on the right track early, before they start kindergarten, and are reading before the third grade, their chances for success are huge. Wharton also says if children succeed, the city succeeds. "We talk so much about poverty. This is the best way to get out of poverty. We talk so much about crime. This is better than police and jails and courtrooms. If we get the children early and get their little brains early and formed up before they get to school, we're going to see a big difference in this city. This can really change this city."

Experts say children learn to read up until the third grade. From then on, they are reading to learn. But, if they are not on track by the third grade, they likely will never catch up, and most often end up dropping out of school. The Pre-K Trust is designed to end that cycle in Memphis.

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