President Obama is expected to include in his budget proposal for the financing plan for universal preschool program through taxes on tobacco products, which is similar to the California initiative, KPCC in “KPCC News” reports.
Obama is expected to present its draft budget on Wednesday (Fernandez, “KPCC News”, KPCC, 4/8).
Details of Proposition 10
In 1998, California voters approved Proposition 10, which imposed a tax on cigarettes to raise funds for First 5 California, the agency that allocates money for schools and not-for-profits that offer programs of education and health care for children under five years (California Health Line, 3/21/12).
Scott Moore - political scientist Early Edge California, a not-for-profit group that advocates for increased early education - said the use of California’s tobacco tax to fund education and health care provides two returns on investment.
According to Moore, “You get a profit from investing in young children, and you will receive a refund to reduce health care costs by reducing smoking.”
Concerns about the approach
However, the tobacco lobby did not object to the approach, while proponents of early education have questioned it as a long-term strategy.
Lisa Guernsey - the director of education at an early stage in the New America Foundation - said the funds from the tobacco tax to fund early education programs is “dangerous” because it could “create a situation in which all education for four-year-old fully paid taxes on tobacco products, “which can be problematic if the funding tobacco taxes will be diverted elsewhere during times of economic stress (” KPCC News “, KPCC, 4/8).