San Antonio, TX
San Antonio passed a ballot initiative in 2012 to provide preschool with a sales tax increase of one-eighth of a cent. The initiative will raise $31 million a year and scale up to serve an additional 3,700 four-year-olds each year in high-quality preschool in years 4 through 8. San Antonio partners with a number of public, private, and philanthropic organizations, including Alamo Public Telecommunications Inc. and non-profits like Avance, Boys Town Texas, Ella Austin, the YMCA, Family Service Association, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, and public school districts such as Northside Independent School District. These partnerships provide the funding for exceptional programs that serve as great investments in early learning. Avance, a non-profit aimed to strengthen families in low-income communities, offers a program to assist parents in developing their child-rearing skills with the aim of healthy development and school readiness. This program uses monthly home visits in order to view the home environment and reinforce the lessons the parents previously learned.
Another program at the San Antonio Public Library, Little Read Wagon, is funded by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation and aims to foster an early love and excitement in children for reading and provide resources for parents. Several partners -Ella Austin, Family Services Association and St. Paul Lutheran Child Development- also invest in Early Childhood Professional Development to supply resources for early childhood professionals necessary for running a high-quality program. San Antonio also implements a Head Start program for children ages 3 and 4, and some 5 year olds who reside in the San Antonio and Edgewood Independent School Districts. This Head Start Program is funded to serve 3,020 children in both of the school districts combined. Five other community and educational agencies implement Head Start programs across San Antonio to serve an additional 3,769 children.