You voted to increase the sales tax to pay for Pre-K education for San Antonio kids. Thursday the program began to take shape, with the appointment of eleven board members.
The board members were hand-picked by Mayor Julian Castro and the city council. They'll set the curriculum and the budget for the new Pre-K system which is being watched closely by cities around the country.
Two recognizable faces on the board: Dr. Richard Middleton and Dr. John Folks, former superintendents of Northeast and Northside ISD's. Mayor Castro and the ten council members were each allowed to appoint one member to the board.
Pamela Ray, a childhood development expert at St. Philip's college, is the District Two appointee.
“Quality teachers are very important, because they are the ones that are making the impact in the classroom. So you want to make sure you have teachers that have the credentials and experience,” Ray told us.
Another appointee: Alamo Heights High School Principal Linda Foster.
“I'm excited to represent District Ten on this board and help shape the future of San Antonio with this initiative,” Foster said.
Board members will now work with an executive search firm hired by the city to find a CEO for the program. The goal is to hire the CEO by mid-March, then hire 80 to 90 teachers and teacher assistants by next June.
By July the city hopes to complete the two "Centers for Excellence", where the children will be taught. Everything will have to be in place by August for the first class of 700 preschoolers.
One of those Pre-K centers will be located on the Northwest side, in a pre-existing building on Medical Drive. Another is being built near Brooks City-Base on the Southside.
As for the eighth-of-a-cent sales tax hike that will pay for it all, you will start paying that in April of next year.