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The Call Blog: Governor Cuomo Announces Plan To Fund Statewide Pre-Kindergarten

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Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at thecall@ny1.com and we'll post it to our blog.



What a response on tonight's program. We debated whether to talk about the storm or pre-K. By the looks of things, New Yorkers have plenty to say about both. Maybe it's time for a two-hour show!



During his annual budget address, Governor Cuomo announced a plan to fund statewide pre-Kindergarten with tax dollars that don't specifically come from the City's wealthy. Cuomo wants to spend $1.5 billion during the next five years to make New York State the fourth in the country to implement a similar program. As part of his budget proposal, the Governor also wants to increase overall spending on schools by 3.8 percent, including $720 million to expand after-school programs.

The plan conflicts with Mayor de Blasio's signature campaign proposal to tax New Yorkers earning more than $500,000 a year to pay for universal pre-K. Today, the Mayor said he will continue to push State lawmakers to raise taxes on the rich so the program has a dedicated revenue stream in the five boroughs. What do you say?

Do you agree with Governor Cuomo's plan to create a pre-Kindergarten program statewide using pre-existing tax dollars? Should Mayor de Blasio accept this proposal or should he continue the fight to tax the rich to pay for it? How would free pre-K and more after-school programs affect you?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



Bill de Blasio is like the evil joker from the last batman movie. Using populist rhetoric to gain mass popularity. Tax has always been and will always be a simple matter of mathematics. If you earn 1 million a year you pay $140,000. If you earn 20,000 per year you pay $1,800 a year in state tax (based on 14% state tax) So the rich are already paying their fair share… with the emphasis on FAIR.

Josephine



First of all, we need to stop saying he has a mandate. Mayor de Blasio was elected with less that 18% of the registered voters in NYC in an election with the lowest voter turn-out in almost a century. His position on Pre-K shows he is more concerned with raising taxes for whom he thinks is rich rather than actually getting universal Pre-K. Also, those "Rich" include many Mom & Pop business owners. Not rich, but rich enough for the Mayor to tax!

TomKo
Bull's Head
Staten Island



John;

Of course we should take the money from the state...Deblasio is hell bent on raising taxes on the "rich". I for one do not want to pay to full day pre-k. People who have children should plan ahead on how they will pay for babysitting long before they have their kids.

So far, I have very little faith in our new administration.

kate
midtown east



Yes. It is so important if the taxes are raised this money needs to be contributed for more substantial funding. Not PRE-K our schools need improvement, not a whole new grade.

Nicole



1. Where is the money coming from? A surplus? Like all gov't programs once begun it will continue long after any surplus has dried out.

2. Further State creeping encroaching on parental responsibilities. Children belong at home with their families. Many are already at school for (free)breakfast through (free)lunch, and afterschool programs loaded with pizza and snacks until 6 or 7 PM.

3. Benefits NYCDOE & teachers union in growing bigger and richer& more powerful.

4. Head Start has been a total failure. It began on the premise that it would give kids a needed edge to succeed in school. It has made no discernible difference.

5. The top 10% already pay 70% of all taxes. Not fair. 47% pay NO taxes. Something is wrong with that picture. DeBlasio is a redistributionist supported by those who want to get something for nothing. Unfortunately there are more of those47%ers to outnumber the wealthy.

Christine



Mayor De Blasio is correct because the taxes could fund the pre k and the unemployment.

Bob
Queens Village



I disagree with the man who stated that the mayor is alienating the rich. Providing young students with the minimal amount that the rich will contribute could only give the little ones the best chance at becoming one of the rich themselves!

If those who are fortunate enough to be wealthy, why not contribute to our future! Stop being greedy and consider yourself blessed.

Jenn
Astoria



A gentle reminder. DeBlasio did not get an overwhelming mandate. 75 % of eligible voters did not vote. And what if the rich left..... who pays?

Jack B.
Queens



Tax the rich seems like a good idea, let the rich work hard to make a better living while people one welfare can stay on their backs and enjoy free stuff. This is ridiculous and crude. Please Bill take out some money from your pocket and pay!

Endrit



Mayor Blasio is correct rich people paying will help new York's financial budget.

Z.
Queens Village



I don't support use of tax dollars to provide preK funding at all. As a parent who has served on School Leadership Teams and as treasurer for 2 yrs of a elementary PTA, I think funding longer school days, modeled after charter schools like SUCCESS Academy, reduced class size and a curriculum that is more rigorous and includes grammar, punctuation, more math specialists and tutoring and after school programs for grades K-12 is a better use of the money. Make Kumon type tutoring available to all kids, not just kids whose parents can afford it. Maybe more children of color would get into the Specialized High Schools.

Audrey
Clinton Hill



Hi I'm a parent and I'm thinking school should not be open tomorrow because today looked really dangerous and can also cause a lot of injuries to any one.

Nadia



First, the rich, who have been supposedly "getting a free ride" already pay the bulk of the income tax. The top 1% pay over 40% of the tax today, the top 10% pay over 60% of the tax. Sounds like more than a fair amount. Second, if pre- K is that important (and I think it is) we should all contribute some skin to the game.

Jeffrey



First, I am not rich.

However, I recognize the value of having the top 50,000 families who pay the majority of personal income taxes in this City. They already pay the highest taxes in the nation. Remember states like florida, have neither state or city income taxes. These people who call in do not really understand basic economics.

Happy to have universal pre-K even though I have no kids, how about cutting some of hundreds of millions of dollars in waste, union featherbedding, and corruption.
We can start by the Teachers Union allowing the firing of all those teachers who sit in rubber rooms all day at full pay and do not teach at all. That would pay for this program right there.

76% of New Yorkers did not vote for any Mayor - hardly any mandate for Mayor de Blasio to raise taxes as he keeps repeating.

P.



Why should the hard working successful people of NY be made to pay for the decisions of those who decide to have kids and can't afford them? The mayor is going to focus on this effort at the expense of everything else that us important. I can't wait to see him drop the ball.

Orin



I wish to remain anonymous. I have aids and is entitled to HASA service but i continue to work and don't take the services. Dont tax the rich. Make those in public assistance work. If i can do it with my medical condition people on welfare can work. Money can be saved and we can pay for universal pre k



It's nice to have funding ready for ore-school and why not using it? Sure. Question is: where does it come from and what happens when it's used up? There needs to be a sustainable solution and DeBlasio suggests the right solution. If we're too cheap for education we'll pay for it in other, more painful ways!

We need both!

Ra, Williamsburg, Brooklyn



John:

I think there is credence to what everyone has said, emailed, tweeted so far on The Call this evening. However, putting all aspects of who wants to do what and how aside: What about the children? What I'm saying is that if the Governor wants to fund Pre-K for the entire New York State then let it be! Mayor De Blasio should applaud that as he did after the Governors State of the State address..If not we'll have a carry over from the past administration with some disconnect from Albany. The children come first not EGOS!!!

Darryl - Brooklyn



We have Democrats in every office in NYC government and yet two Democrats are engaging in a battle over a program both agree is essential. Also, get a Commissioner of Corrections and close school because 14 inches of snow not a good thing for school children.

Allan
Midwood



What's suspicious to me is why Andrew Cuomo waited so long to propose funding pre K? Why did he never mention it until Bill de Blasio became Mayor and proposed the idea? It's obvious Cuomo just wants to steal the spotlight. Cuomo and his buddies have something to fear - I don't believe there is anything wrong with making the wealthy pay a little more. Cuomo is a phony

Ray
Upper West



Taxing "the rich" sounds like a battle cry to me. Pre-K is a unifying factor, supporting each other as a city is a unifying factor. But saying we are taxing the rich, isolates or separates "the rich," from all other tax payers -perhaps even punishes them. I'm not rich, but taxing a person in a way we won't tax all of us do not sound like an economic plan, a fair tax plan or a unifying factor for our city. It sounds a bit like "attack the rich." Doesn't it sound that way to you?

I got an idea, give the Governor's plan a shot and if it doesn't work, tax everyone next year.

Ian, Hamilton Heights



I think it's ludicrous that we are talking about how to fund pre-K, but we aren't talking about the quality of the education. I think for this plan to work there needs to be a combination of money from the budget plus more taxes on the wealthy if this program is gonna pan out long term, but I think the focus should be how to make the program the most effective. This could be a good step towards a better education system for the state of New York. The focus on whose plan funds it is totally a struggle of power in politics, but if the mayor and governor really care about education they will work together to make the program work instead of trying to outdo one another.

Emilio from Wahington Heights



He wants the tax hike to fund back door deals with the unions and also pre K.

I remain,
chkiii



The rich has been getting a free ride for 12 yrs...for instance....BLOOMBERG was only worth 9 billion dollars when he became mayor....NOW he's worth more than 40 billion..c'mon GOV. PUNKO...IT IS TIME FOR THESE PEOPLE TO PAY UP!!!...THEY STAY ROBBING THE MIDDLE CLASS AND POOR...stop trying to secure your re-election, sacrificing us in the process!

McGriff



It seems to me that DeBlasio's urgent desire to overtax the rich is really about finding a revenue source to pay for his wife's new $170K "chief of staff" and any other blatantly obvious patronage jobs he can dream up.

Bruce
UES



Dear Mr. John Schiumo:

I am sick and tired of the same old Democratic policy of funding for programs with other people's money.

If Mayor Bill De Blasio is so gung ho about the Pre-K program, he should be the first person to write a check for $1 million dollars out of his own pocket.

Sincerely,
Gary
Flushing, Queens



Pre-k kids parents should not have to pay tax because little kids are learning and playing, but parents need the money for their family to live and pay all these bills such as water bills, electrical bills, credit card bills and more. Kids are nit only learning they are playing as we'll so parents should not have to pay for pre-k

Jad



Cuomo wants a foot in each pie. DeBlasio has it right. The ultra rich need, and many want, to chip in a little more. That should include Wall Street and mega business- NOT small businesses. The state has tremendous infrastructure needs, as well as public service and education demands. In NYC multimillion dollar apartments sell above crumbling sidewalks and streets, overburdened transit and traffic.

Gloria



Suddenly Gov. Cuomo wants to have the state pay for pre k he is up re election next year , if he wasn't you would not hear a word from about pre k. plus its all about the rich.

Efrain
Carroll Gardens



I think that mayor De Blaiso's plan to tax the rich is better. The budget is tight enough. With the new common core standards, pre-k is the new kindergarten. Without pre-k, children can find themselves behind in kindergarten before it has even begun. My child is in the gifted and talented program but I hear so much that the work is endless for these kids at such a young age. Kids enter kindergarten at vastly different levels and without universal pre-k you are furthering the divide between the rich and the poor here in the city. The governor can use his budget to help find after school programs, that's a whole other issue.

Chrissy, Fresh Meadows



I like governors plan alot! And the mayor should absolutely not tax the rich and accept Governor Coumos plan

Denise



I am sticking with the governor on pre k, considering the mayor can't get pre k kids home on busses before 8pm during a minor snowstorm

Den in Bushwick



The mayor got elected by pitting the poor against the rich so he needs to tax the rich to show his credibility to his electorate. It's silliness. If the governor wants to fund it, stop trying to antagonize half the population of the city by polarizing them. The city needs the rich more than it needs the poor in order to continue to survive.

Renee
Queens



I am currently a 1st grade NYC public school teacher. I have also taught Kindergarten and upper grades. I can immediately tell which students have attended preK and which ones have not.

It makes a huge difference for kids to get a foundation early. The children are more socialized and less afraid to leave their parents. They come in knowing their alphabet and some numbers. It is much easier for teachers and parents when the students have already had some educational background.

It is the early years that children are like sponges! They take it all in and for the most part (if kept up over summers/holidays at home) students can build on that foundation. I agree with the Mayor's plan to tax the rich to support the students that will be our future!!

Jenn, Astoria



John,

I am a huge fan of bdb but am very upset with his position! The main thing is getting universal pre-k--not HOW!!! He will completely alienate wealthy people who might otherwise support him! Smh...

Shelley from Park Slope



John,

Andrew Cuomo is only for Cuomo. He will do anything to undermine and steal the thunder from Bill de Blasio or anyone else who gets in his way. This is a man who is extremely self-centered and wants to be President. He will only do what shows him in a favorable light. News alert: Bill de Blasio’s heart is in the right place but he won’t get anywhere with Cuomo.

Ben
Brooklyn Hgts.



What is wrong with this man? He should be thrilled! Does he want pre K or does he just want to raise taxes? This has to be the first time a mayor got elected on the platform of raising taxes! Perhaps not allowing Mrs Mayor to have a staff at the tax payers expense can save money for the pre K. I've yet to hear what this administration is going to do for me, the working middle class without pre K age children!

Angela



Isn't it true that the state has never fully funded NYC education as it is, even after we won the funding lawsuit that said so? If so i would rather see the UPK and afterschool funded through a city tax increase. State funds should get into the classrooms where they have long belonged - to support special ed reform mandates, smaller class size, and academic support for struggling students.

Anni
Manhattan



John,

I disagree with Cuomo and de Blasio. Parents should pay for the education of
their children. It is pure theft to require by law that you pay for the
education of other people's children.

One might ask, "But what about other things that the government pays for
using taxation to raise the money?" I say I'm opposed to that, too. All
taxation is theft.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



Hi John,

What are pre tax dollars? Where is it coming from? I guess the middle class. Why take on yet another project that has to do with education when we haven't even solved the present school education system that’s in a shamble. I thought DeBlasio was so bent on becoming the Mayor of this city and yet all he is doing is appointing people that do not belong in this administration. He’s making to many promises and also just seems to be handing over the reigns to all of the appointees that seems to have a staff to go along with their appointments. Where does he fit in on the decisions of this administration.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



I agree on one thing. Bloomberg stiffed us on the conditions of the roads and we are literally paying for it. If people like Cuomo are endorsed then it is time to get out of Dodge. NYC will have two classes of people the smug rich and the starving poor. Fixing the education system. give me a break. It has been a issue since Dinkins and has not gotten any better. The people that created this great city are gone and the people who are destroying it are here.

Roscoe,
Park Hill



Hi John

The Mayor snd Govenor should work together on a education plan that would benefit all the students, there should be more after school programs, better school books,more bilingual classes, longer school days and better security so there wont be another Advante case that's so sad. Mayor Diblasio should tax the rich because they have to do their part too, there can never be to much money for education.

Herman
upper west side



De Blasio has some nerve -- he's managing to implicitly insult the governor of his own party, whose help he is going to need on a lot more than this issue; and he's revealing a real predilection for class warfare, as he seems to want to raise taxes on the "wealthy" just on principle. In either case, he's being foolish, though perhaps also honest.

Bruce
Upper West Side
Manhattan



Actually I feel the pre existing dollars that the Governor found would be better used funding better programs for K - 12 children. I actually like the Mayor's idea of taxing those making over $500,000 a year. It makes more sense than using hard earned tax money from the middle class when that tax money can go for a broader majority of students and not just one grade.

Jessica, Arden Heights, Staten Island



Time to shape up this city & fix what already exists. Not add on a whole new PRE-k. Common our streets are flooded with snow GPS not working? Get it together !!!!

It's easy for him to raise taxes on the rich because government officials are excluded from being taxed on a lot of things. They are making it out easier to be poor than rich in this city. TOO MUCH HELP FOR THE POOR THEY ARE VERY Comfortable. And nobody wants to work it's not fair

Nicole



I agree with Mayor and Governor proposal .but they should work together to solve pre-kindergarten child.

Mahiuddin



Government is always behind the curve. Spend smarter. Instead of dragging our little children to school in the snow and freezing cold, work with the private sector to incorporate elearning and get our education to the 21st century.

Nick
Tottenville



I believe that the mayor's plan is the best way to secure funding for PreK. The rich can afford the small amount to assist with our education crisis.
The additional amount would cost less than an outfit at Barney's!

Give out youngest the chance to grow to be the future rich!

Jordan, east elmhurst



What's next? All the wealthy have to pay for tricycles for every kid in the city?

Patty



DeBlasi0 seems like he is admirer of Pol Pot. I hope he succeeds in taxing the rich. House prices in Greenwich and Rye should go up as the wealthy move out of the City. It will be like the malaise of the 1970s all over again.

Bobby from Queens Village

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