Early returns had Pre-K 4 SA in a dead heat in early voting numbers, but votes supporting the measure gained ground as the election-day results were tallied.
The early education tax increase passed with 53 percent of the vote; early vote totals showed votes supporting the proposition only 87 votes ahead of votes opposing.
The crowd at the Castro election headquarters was jubilant as Mayor Julián Castro said early in the evening that he believed the measure would pass, “and I think San Antonians have made the right decision tonight.”
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña are going the distance for a program they say is going to change the educational trajectory of the city.
Starting from Lions Field Park on Broadway, children from the George Gervin Academy helped the two start the run, where 5,700 of their steps represent the number of San Antonio’s four year olds that are not currently served by a quality, full-day pre-kindergarten program.
Among the most talked about issues this election season is San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s proposed Pre-K 4 SA program. In August, City Council members voted to send the measure to an election, and although the majority of members supported the initiative, several were against.
All but District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, District 8 Councilman Reed Williams, and District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules agreed to the creation of a corporation that would oversee the tax revenues of the initiative, should voters approve it.
San Antonians are heading to the polls to vote for candidates in a number of races and the Pre-K 4 SA proposal – to raise the sales tax one eighth of a cent to pay for a full day pre-kindergarten program that proponents say will help turn around the city’s dropout problem.
Mayor Julián Castro is the biggest supporter for Pre-K for SA and says it’s not a silver bullet, but a big step in the right direction.
Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff opposes the proposal because it raises taxes and he says there are too many unanswered questions.
Whether Mayor Julián Castro's Pre-K 4 SA early education initiative will pass or be voted down is too close to call at this point in early voting, but with all the debate over the issue, Castro doesn't seem surprised.
"I always assume that any election is going to be a close election," said Castro Monday at the steps of the Bexar County Courthouse. "I want folks to know Pre-K 4 SA is supported by our seven biggest Chambers of Commerce, by all seven living former mayors, by our biggest employers. There's a reason for that."
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and CPS-Energy are responding to a CNN news story about a solar energy deal that casts the political rising star in a negative light.
When Mayor Julian Castro stepped onto the stage of the Democratic National Convention he was also stepping into a more critical arena of national politics where nearly every move is scrutinized.
And on Friday, a story on the CNN program "Erin Burnett’s Out Front" covered a CPS-Energy solar energy deal that Castro was involved in that went to a South Korean company and not a company in the United States.
Mayor Julian Castro continues his push for his Pre-K 4 SA initiative at every opportunity. Monday, he spoke to the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce about educational challenges the city faces.
He told business leaders that San Antonio is a rapidly growing city with educational challenges that will only grow more with the population increase.
Over bacon and scrambled eggs, he said Texas and San Antonio repeatedly ranks in the bottom-tier of educational achievement. "The challenge for San Antonio is that we can't abide by that anymore in the 21st Century," he said.
Since his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro has become a national political figure. This morning, Castro was on NBC's "Today Show" talking about education.
The Pre-K initiative would add one-eighth of a cent to the sales tax generating $31 million per year to fund pre-K for 22,000 4-year-olds in the city. Mayor Julián Castro said Pre-K 4 SA would be the first of its kind in the state.