NEW ORLEANS, LA, APRIL 30, 2022 – A new property tax that’s expected to pull in $21 million annually for early childhood education in New Orleans was poised to pass by a wide margin in Saturday’s election. With only a few precincts uncounted as of 10:15 p.m., 61 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the tax.

The tax proposition was the only item on the New Orleans ballot in Saturday’s election, leading to a low turnout in the city: 24,611 of the New Orleans’ 267,266 registered voters, with 347 out of 351 precincts — or about 99 percent of the city — tallied.

The revenue generated by the tax will fund an additional 1,000 early childhood education seats for New Orleans students. A state matching grant could double that, expanding the program to 2,000 seats. Either way, it will vastly expand the city’s current program which is funded at $3 million per year, creating 200 seats.

The New Orleans city government began directly funding early childhood education in 2018 with a $750,000 pilot program. The city doubled that investment to $1.5 million in 2019, and doubled it again in 2020 to reach $3 million. Those funds are used to pay the tuition costs for private early childhood education programs for kids who can’t afford them. Read more.