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Mayor James announces delay in pre-K initiative

Posted: 8:12 AM, Aug 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-17 13:16:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Friday morning he will delay putting a pre-K sales tax initiative on the ballot until the April election, rather than November. 

The mayor had championed the proposal for the three-eighths-cent sales tax that would generate $30 million per year for pre-K assistance earlier in the week.

There had been pushback on the proposed plan.

Kansas City Public Schools released a statement this week asking leaders to hold off on putting this sales tax proposal on the November ballot. The statement outlined several reasons for the district's request, including a lack of mechanism for measuring outcomes. It also said by funneling money into private and parochial schools, the plan establishes the framework for a voucher system in Kansas City, which the district opposes.

At the Friday morning news conference at Union Station, James said the conversation around the proposal is more about the "adults' agenda" than it is the students, and that the focus needs to be on the kids.

James also said many parties wanted more time to consider the sales tax, and that's what he is giving them by delaying the vote.