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Faith-based group to campaign for Preschool Promise levy

Faith-based group to campaign for Preschool Promise levy (WKRC)

BOND HILL, Ohio (WKRC) - A large crowd of supporters gathered Thursday night, June 16, and pledged to campaign for a Cincinnati Public Schools levy that would fund ongoing operations and Preschool Promise.

Members of the AMOS Project voted unanimously to support the levy. Preschool Promise aims to place every 4-year-old in Cincinnati in free preschool. Some 3-year-olds would be included. Community providers such as Traci Poellnitz support the program. Poellnitz has run a preschool and daycare out of her home for 21 years.

"It would allow us to sustain needed materials and educational things for the children so we can run an effective program," Poellnitz said.

CPS does not know how many children would be placed in preschools run by providers such as Poellnitz. But CPS Board of Education President Ericka Copeland-Dansby said the district was committed to adding 380 new preschool seats in the 2016-2017 school year - even if the levy fails. Details of the program were still being hammered out by working groups.

"I think our community is extremely passionate about the education of our kids and as you saw tonight with the large number of folks who were here tonight, folks are going to rally behind this joint levy and support Cincinnati's kids," Copeland-Dansby said.

But others believe the levy could be a tough sell. Members of the AMOS Project said they were ready to get out the message about the levy and the importance of Preschool Promise.

"I think the challenge is going to be once we come up with this going out, knocking on the doors, making the phone calls, making the case to voters," said Troy Jackson, leader of the AMOS Project. "That this is one of the best investments we can make as a community, to really do what we need to make Cincinnati great."

The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $277 per year.

The $48 million, Five year levy would also fund ongoing operations as the district's enrollment increases. $15 million per year would fund free preschool.

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