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New Philadelphia Pre-K Funding Commission May Be Decided By Voters This Spring

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- City Council wants to create a permanent commission devoted to pushing for universal Pre-K schooling in Philadelphia. And voters may be asked to sign off on the idea in a ballot referendum this spring.

Officials believe only about one-third of pre-schoolers who are eligible for Pre-K in Philadelphia are now enrolled. And Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell says a permanent commission to promote enrollment -- and to better fund Pre-K -- is needed.

"We have not funded Pre-K. And studies show that children do so much better with Pre-K included. So we're trying to force it into the discussion. We don't have all the money for it, but at least if we force the discussion, we'll be closer to getting it done," Blackwell says.

City Council has approved Blackwell's plan to create a Universal Pre-K commission.

Because it requires a change in the Home Rule Charter, the question is expected to go to voters in a referendum during the May 19th primary.

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