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Memphis Mayor Readying to Start City-Run Pre-K

The mayor of Memphis is already gearing up to proceed with a city-run preschool program despite having to wait for a vote Nov. 21.

A C Wharton Jr. announced eight appointees to the program's trust fund earlier Sept. 23, The Daily News reported, but they would have to be approved by the city council.

Voters will go to the polls Nov. 21 to approve or deny a bid to increase the city's sales tax by one-half a percent to raise $30 million to fund an early-childhood education program. The city says that the money would allow more than 5,000 children currently ineligible for public preschools to enroll in one.

Currently the Shelby County school system enrolls 48,000 students.

"A pre-k program is absolutely essential for Memphis to remain competitive in recruiting people and businesses, so we ask that Memphians vote yes for the initiative this fall," said John Moore, the chairman of the Greater Memphis Chamber, in a statement.

If voters agree to the deal, Memphis would be following a new trend: San Antonio and San Francisco both have city-run pre-k programs.

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