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Seg. 1: Kansas City Mayor Defends Pre-K Sales Tax. Seg. 2: Is Kansas Swimmer Olympic Bound?

Kansas City Mayor Sly James sits behind a microphone. He is wearing headphones.
Luke X. Martin
KCUR 89.3
As Kansas City Mayor Sly James enters his last year as the city's chief executive and starts on his final projects, he's pushing for a sales tax hike to fund early childhood education.

Segment 1: If approved, the proposed 3/8-cent sales tax to fund expanded early childhood education in Kansas City will be on the November ballot.

With the less than a year until he leaves Kansas City's top office, Mayor Sly James is pushing for an expanded early childhood education system to serve 4-year-olds across the city. But he wants to fund the initiative with a sales tax, something critics have questioned as that rate is nearing 10 percent in some areas. Today, we talked with the mayor about this funding model and found out why he thinks the city, not schools, should be in charge of this education initiative. 

Segment 2, beginning at 30:33: A 19-year-old from Lawrence, Kansas, continues his rise in the world of competitive swimming.

Earlier this week, Michael Andrew swam 50 meters in 21.46 seconds. Swimming insiders say he's quickly becoming one of the people to beat in the freestyle, but the Kansas native didn't get there on his own. Today, we talked with Andrew's father and coach about his son's route to the top of the ranks in international swimming and how the entire family has been involved in his training.

As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.