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With a retired teacher at his side Monday in a University City pre-K, mayoral candidate Jim Kenney released an education-policy paper that aims to raise $105 million and fully fund early childhood education "for 3- and 4-year-old Philadelphians in need."
The plan would raise money "by instituting zero-based budgeting, creating a reverse auctioning system [for city contract bids], selling marketable commercial tax liens, and revising the land value to collect a fairer share of taxes from abated properties."
"This is the beginning of a generational change our city sorely needs," said Kenney, sitting in front of a wooden toyhouse, five tricycles, two toy lawnmowers and a mini trampoline inside Philadelphia Cathedral Early Learning Center. "It would be the hallmark of my administration."
Kenney was introduced at the afternoon event by retired teacher Rachelle Nocito, who said the candidate "clearly feels a personal commitment to our children in public schools."
Per the policy paper, Kenney would aim to provide an additional $50 million in the first year of his term without cutting city services "beyond the efficiencies and program redundancies found through budgeting and procurement reforms."
The campaign said those funds would come from "zero-based budgeting and reverse auctioning system in the first fiscal year of his term," which they estimate would rise to $90 million in the second fiscal year when zero-based budgeting is fully utilized.