Aug. 18: How much tax will you pay to help early childhood education?

By Khambrel Marshall - Meteorologist, 'Newsmakers' Host

HOUSTON - The group, Citizens for School Readiness is proposing a cent tax increase per $100 of home value in Harris County. The estimated $25 million raised would be used exclusively for Early Childhood Education programs.

James Calaway, chairman of the Early to Rise Campaign to raise the funds, said it's a good way to get money to a segment of our community that is underfunded. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett is not happy. Neither is former Harris County Tax Assessor Paul Bettencourt. 

Bettencourt joined Calaway as guests on Sunday's "Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall" and said he is against non-elected officials being in charge of tax payers money.

The Early to Rise campaign proposes that the money be controlled by a public/private partnership board. Calaway and Bettencourt discussed the pros and cons of this proposal, and the very unusual way this proposal may be making its way to the ballot.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has said the group gathered signatures from voters in a bid to get this proposal on the ballot. Emmett said it's an archaic law that was repealed and may not pass the legal hurdles to get onto the November ballot. 

Also this week, Mentoring 2-point-0, an extension of a pilot program by Big Brothers Big Sisters that will match mentors with high school students primarily via computer. Rod Hadley, President of the Greater Houston Big Brothers Big Sisters spoke about how this program differs from traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. Sehba Ali is the Superintendent of Kipp Houston Public Schools, and said the program at its new Northeast Campus will be a great way to help students further prepare for getting into and through college.

Volunteer mentors can call the contact information below and click here.

Great information on this week's "Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall" Sundays at 10 a.m., right after "Meet the Press with David Gregory."


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