Philadelphia’s 2,000 Soda Tax-Funded Pre-K Seats Are Full

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– They’re full. The city says all 2,000 pre-K seats funded by the soda tax are taken.

Mayor Kenney drew on a paper hand, right along with 3-and-4 year-olds at the Beautiful Beginnings child care center in Rhawnhurst. He was there to announce that the city’s 2000 soda tax-funded pre-K seats are all taken now.

“We were essentially full, I would say, by last week. By the start of the traditional school year,” said the city’s pre-K director Julie Beamon.

The mayor says the program could have expanded, if not for the beverage industry’s legal challenge currently awaiting a ruling from the state Supreme Court.

“We are at 2,000 students today. We have 400-plus kids on a waiting list,” said Kenney. “And we would have 1,000 more kids in quality pre-K if it weren’t for the soda people.”

Beamon advises parents who are waiting for the program to expand, to check PHLprek.org for other possible sources of aid.

More from Mike DeNardo

Watch & Listen LIVE