Few problems in San Antonio are more deeply rooted than inner city children failing to get a good education and thus break the cycle of poverty that grips their families and communities and diminishes their future trajectory.

Through the early voting period now underway and on Election Day, Nov. 6, voters in San Antonio will decide whether to support or reject Mayor Julián Castro’s Brainpower initiative, since branded Pre-K 4 SA, which takes the last 1/8 cent of sales tax revenue available to the city and assigns it to a multi-year program aimed at putting more inner city four-year-olds in early childhood learning environments to better prepare them for school and a path intended to take them through high school graduation and beyond.

Castro’s plan, backed by a blue ribbon commission of education experts chaired by two of the city’s most respected and powerful business leaders, H-E-B CEO Charles Butt and USAA CEO Joe Robles, seems destined for passage by a politically comfortable margin. Organized opposition has been thin and noticeably vague on alternative approaches to attacking the citywide drop-out epidemic.

But smart educators inside the classroom who enjoy a perspective few others can claim, seem genuinely divided on the initiative. Today the Rivard Report continues its focus on the subject by presenting two well-articulated positions presented by two committed and passionate educators. Agree or disagree, you have to feel good that teachers like these two writers are inside San Antonio classrooms, making a difference.

Let us hear from you on how you will vote on Nov. 6 and why you’ve decided to support or oppose Mayor Castro and others who believe Pre-K 4 SA is the best path forward.

Read the opposition:

Why I Oppose San Antonio’s Pre-K Plan As an Early Childhood Educator by Jill Thrift, who has a doctoral degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas-Austin and has served as faculty at the University of Houston, the University of Texas-San Antonio, and the University of Texas Health Science Center- San Antonio. Currently, she is an early childhood education consultant in San Antonio.

Read the support:

From Mops to Microphones: The Latino Child, Early Childhood Education, and the San Antonio Economy by Philis M. Barragán Goetz, a San Antonio native, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Lecturer in the American Studies program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Follow Robert Rivard on Twitter @rivardreport or on Facebook.

Robert Rivard, co-founder of the San Antonio Report who retired in 2022, has been a working journalist for 46 years. He is the host of the bigcitysmalltown podcast.