The Shelby County Commission voted down a proposal to fund pre-K classrooms Monday.
Commissioner Steve Mulroy wanted $2.8 million to restore funding for 26 pre-K classrooms, according to Action News 5. But Mayor Mark Lutrell wants to use the money to give suburban and rural residents a tax cut, so that they are taxed at the same level as Memphis city residents.
Teachers showed up to the meeting to support the pre-K funding. “This country has a responsibility to educate all children,” said Keith Williams, the president of the teachers union, to Action News 5.
The pre-K proposal lost by one vote.
Although Council Chair James Harvey voted against funding this time, he plans to bring universal pre-K in Shelby County to vote soon, according to News 3.
“What they don’t see coming is I’m going to propose we fund pre-k. Period,” Harvey said to News 3. “All of Shelby County. Not the suburbs, or certain demographics, not the poor. Shelby county will fund pre-k.”