LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A candidate for Louisville mayor said expanding access to pre-K education for the city's 3- and 4-year-olds will be one of his priorities, if elected.

Tim Findley Jr. said universal pre-K would make children better prepared to enter kindergarten and narrow the achievement gap, especially among Black and minority kids. Across Kentucky, he said 49% of students aren't ready for kindergarten.

"In order for Louisville to experience necessary educational growth, we must be committed to publicly funding full-day, universal pre-K to all 3- and 4-year-olds in Louisville," Findley said.

Findley, a Democrat, is an activist and the pastor of Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center.

He said he would appoint a universal pre-K task force within his first 90 days in office. He suggested a variety of ways to pay for the program, such as using property tax revenue and part of Louisville's share of federal COVID-19 relief funds.

At least seven other candidates are running for Louisville mayor including activist and organizer Shameka Parrish-Wright; funeral home owner Anthony Oxendine; Former CEO of 21c Museum Hotels and co-owner of Ohio Valley Wrestling Craig Greenberg; Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson;  Jeffersontown mayor Bill Dieruf; and Margaret Trowe of the Socialist Workers Party.

Nicholson and Dieruf, a Republican, are the only candidates thus far who have served in elected office. 

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