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Education Advocates Hold Rally in Albany

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ALBANY - Education advocates are calling for statewide universal pre-k education and massive improvements to school infrastructure.

The Alliance for Quality Education staged a rally in Albany, calling for nearly $2 billion in aid to schools around New York.

The organization says it wants the state to fund universal, full-day pre-k, enough so that it's available for every 4-year-old in the state.

According to the alliance, they need $225 million to accomplish that this year.

Those rallying at the capitol also want $1 billion for classrooms, technology improvements and supplies, and another $700 million to support various initiatives.

"There's a huge need for universal pre-k, and it does a tremendous impact on getting kids ready for school. They end up doing better throughout school, being more likely to go to college, earning more money in their life," said Billy Easton of the Alliance for Quality Education. "It's really a no-brainer to do pre-k."

Governor Andrew Cuomo voiced support for universal pre-k, but isn't supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund it.

Attention now turns to the governor's budget presentation to see whether that money is included.

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