MO tobacco tax increase proposal to go to early education funding

MO tobacco tax increase proposal to go to early education funding

MISSOURI (KFVS) - The campaign "Yes on Kids for 3" aims to push for the passing of Missouri constitutional amendment 3 on the November ballot.

The idea behind the amendment is to raise the taxes on tobacco sales by 15 cents a year until the year 2020 when it will be frozen at 60 cents until changed by Missouri voters.

The tax dollars are slated to be used for early education, which, according to supporters of the amendment, will increase the access as well as the quality of early education.

"Early childhood, research has shown, significantly improves the success of students in school, and the quality of life once students finish the K-12 system," Missouri State Representative Kathy Swan said.

"For a generation, we've failed our kids, because we haven't prepared them to learn when they've put them in kindergarten," Jack Cardetti said. "What this is going to do is it's gonna have a robust early childhood education system all across our state."

To get access to the money, places like early education centers and schools will have to apply for grant money. The grant applications will be sent to a board in Jefferson City, where the decision of if, and how much money, will be decided.

Cardetti said research has shown children who go through early education programs are less likely to enter the prison system, as well as a reduced dependency on government funded programs.

Cardetti also said local and regional institutions will help determine the needs for early education in their communities.

"The research shows that the states that are actually investing in early childhood education, preparing students, they have better outcome across the board," Cardetti said.

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