On June 16, 2016, Philadelphia City Council passed the Philadelphia Beverage Tax proposed by Mayor Kenney. Over the last five years, the City has reinvested millions of dollars in revenue directly into Philadelphia communities, focusing on three transformational programs:

  • PHLpreK: Free, quality pre-K for 3- and 4-year-old children across Philadelphia.
  • Community Schools: Public schools where partnerships and programs promote wellness, stability, and learning opportunities for students, families, and neighbors.
  • Rebuild: A once-in-a-generation investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to improve recreation centers, parks, libraries, and playgrounds.

Over the last five years, we’ve invested in quality education, growing small businesses, and revitalizing shared public spaces throughout the city. These are long-term investments in a better future for all, and we’re already seeing the benefits. 

Here are some highlights from our progress since 2016: 


A caregiver and three children pose for a photo at a playground, holding a "#RebuildPHL" prop


  • Rebuild efforts are active at 68 sites throughout the city. Over $200 million is committed, or already expended, to complete the work at Rebuild sites.
  • 74 trainees have been accepted into Rebuild’s workforce development program.
  • 116 businesses are enrolled in Rebuild’s business support program to grow and strengthen their business, preparing them for Rebuild contracting opportunities. 
  • 64.4 percent of Rebuild’s committed Rebuild contract dollars have been awarded to diverse businesses: 43.9 percent awarded to minority business enterprises, and 20.6 percent awarded to women’s business enterprises.



  • Since beginning in 2017, PHLpreK has grown from serving up to 2,000 children annually to 3,300. Next school year the program will expand to 4,000 seats, doubling its original size. 
  • Over 10,000 children have participated in PHLpreK. Since the start of the program, the majority of children served by PHLpreK have been from households making less than $60,000 per year.
  •  Across multiple annual surveys, more than 90 percent of caregivers reported that their children are better prepared for kindergarten because of PHLpreK.
  • Nearly a third of caregivers reported returning to work as a result of enrolling their child in PHLpreK. An additional third of caregivers reported being able to work more hours, and nearly one in 10 reported being able to continue their education.
  • 137 pre-K providers now receive funding from PHLpreK. 96 percent of those providers have the state’s highest quality ratings.
  • Nearly 3 in 5 (58 percent) PHLpreK providers were minority or women-owned organizations during the 2020-21 school year. 
  • Teachers and teaching assistants are employed in 243 PHLpreK-supported classrooms. Every year, over 100 PHLpreK educators participate in continuing education and professional development. 


A community school coordinator and school community member pose together outside of a school building.

Community Schools

  • There are currently 17 City-designated Community Schools – nearly twice as many as the first cohort of nine schools established in 2016. 
  • Community Schools currently serve over 9,400 students, as well as families and community members. 
  • This school year, nearly 600 students received City-funded support to improve regular attendance at Community Schools.
  • Community Schools have expanded the availability of quality out-of-school time programming over the last three years. During the 2020-21 school year, there were nearly 1,500 out-of-school time opportunities for students in Community Schools.
  • Over 500 adult learners were enrolled in adult education opportunities at Community Schools before the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership has doubled since launching in the 2017-18 school year with 213 adult learners. 
  • During the 2020-21 school year, the City invested nearly $460,000 to support the hiring of 17 Attendance Case Managers and to provide Attendance Incentives to engage students and increase attendance in all of the schools.
  • During the 2020-21 school year, nearly 4,500 students and families have been served through Community School events and resource distributions.


City and community leaders, participating in a ceremony, shovel dirt from the ground in front of a community facility

What’s next

Working with partners and community members, we will continue to expand these programs to serve more students, families, and residents in the coming years. These notable developments are coming soon:

  • The next school year will be PHLpreK’s biggest year yet! The program is adding 700 seats in order to serve 4,000 children annually. 
  •  In the 2021-2022 school year the City will invest just over $2.9 million towards the addition of general case management services in nine Community Schools, bringing even more support directly to students and families. 
  • Rebuild plans to break ground on five project sites and cut the ribbon on five other project sites this summer, representing $35,000,000 in funds infused into public spaces.
The City’s free, quality pre-K program is growing! Children who will be 3 or 4 on September 1 are eligible for PHLpreK. Sign up for updates from the Office of Children and Families to learn more when enrollment starts.