Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Along with $300M in Funding, Pre-K Teachers Get Encouragement

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TWC News: Along with $300M in Funding, Pre-K Teachers Get Encouragement
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With the school year beginning in less than two weeks, the mayor and schools chancellor offer some words of encouragement to pre-K teachers.

The mayor's office says more than 4,000 teachers and other staff and faculty are attending the Teachers Institute.

This is the second week in a row the Institute is putting on professional development sessions meant to train teachers in the latest classroom techniques.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said good teachers are the key to success for his educational reforms.

"The blessing is we're going to change both those individual lives and the public debate and the expectations in our society for the better. The curse is the eyes of the world are on us. The pressure's on us to perform, to get it right," the mayor said.

"My wish for you is that you go home every day, and after you take your nap—because you're going to need it for the first few weeks of school, right? I remember, believe me. You say, 'Today I made a difference,' and I am here to say thank you for making that difference for New York city four-year-olds, " Chancellor Carmen Fariña said.

The city's school year starts on September 1.

Meanwhile, city schools are set to receive nearly $300 million for full-day pre-K.

The Department of Education is getting the bulk of a $340 million package being distributed among 81 school districts and community groups across the state.

Albany officials say the money will benefit about 37,000 children.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office said this is just the first part of a $1.5 billion pre-K funding commitment spanning over five years.

De Blasio lost a public battle with Cuomo over how to fund universal pre-K earlier this year.

De Blasio wanted to fund programs by raising the income tax on the city's wealthiest residents instead of using state funds.

The awards still need to be reviewed by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

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