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Prop. 82 taxes rich to pay for preschool

California Proposition 82 would create a preschool program by taxing wealthy individuals and couples. It's one of two statewide measures on next month's ballot.
KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more

Maryann O'Sullivan is the founder of Preschool California. O'Sullivan says the measure would provide money for early education at a time when children are eager to learn:

O'Sullivan: "By taking advantage of that and using really developmentally appropriate tools, so really learning through play activities we can get kids ready, so that when they get to kindergarten and first grade, they're really to ready to read and ready to learn what K-12 holds for them."

But Lance Izumi, a spokesman for the Pacific Research Institute, disagrees:

Izumi: "The research evidence to support the connection between preschool and long-term academic achievement by students is either weak or in many cases nonexistent, which makes the high cost and the tax increases contained in the initiative unjustifiable."

Izumi and O'Sullivan debated Proposition 82 on the KPBS radio program "These Days."

The measure would add a 1.7 percent tax on individual incomes above $400,000 and for couples earning more than $800,000. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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