Thursday, December 25, 2014

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The Call Blog: Thousands Of Full-Day Pre-School Seats Coming To Public Schools

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Pre-Kindergarten is coming to New York City. Today, Mayor de Blasio thanked State lawmakers "who supported us in this effort." His victory lap is conveniently leaving out the fact that State lawmakers rejected his tax hike on the rich and moved forward with their own plan. Pesky little details always get in the way of a good soundbite.

One day after State lawmakers allocated $300 million to implement full-day pre-Kindergarten in New York City, Mayor de Blasio unveiled details of the effort to get the program running by September. As part of that effort, the Department of Education announced it will be providing 4,268 new seats inside 140 existing school buildings in all five boroughs.

The Department of Education's overall plan is to accommodate some 53,000 pre-K students this fall. It will do so using existing space inside schools and by partnering with community-based organizations. The deadline to apply for the public school pre-K programs is April 23.

President Obama said today in a statement that he "applauds Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for the remarkable work accomplished this week." And Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said, "Today, this becomes reality. Families are eager, teachers are ready." What do you say?

Are you celebrating the allocation of $1.5 billion tax dollars over five years to get full-day pre-Kindergarten up and running in New York State? Should most of the credit for the program go to Governor Cuomo and State lawmakers and Mayor de Blasio? How will this new program affect you?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

Hi John

I'm glad the money is being allocated for full day pre-K starting in Septmeber because the kids need to start learning at a early age, this is why the Common Core testing is good the state wants to see how much the kids have learned and if the educators are any good at teaching, no child should opt out of the testing because the testing only shows if the child is learning anything. I applaud Mayor Diblasio Gov. Cuomo and the state lawmakers for allocating the money for education because a mind is a terrible thing to waste and the kids are our future.


Hi John,

This administration is making me dizzy. I thought we didn’t have any room for smaller classes in the regular school system and now they can accommodate for 4,268 seats inside 140 existing school buildings in all five boroughs. Now the number they plan to accommodate is 53,000 Pre-K programs by April. Plus they will partner with community-based organizations. Does this mean churches also. Something is not jiving here. They seem to have this all figured out/cut and dry and like magic this has become a reality to Farina. I won’t even mention the cost and the congratulations from the higher ups. According to this administration in New York they have found the formula of success for


Thank you John,


The pocket pickers are on a roll. Why does everyone else have to pay via taxation for the education of other people's children? How is that fair? It's not it's extortion.

Port Richmond, SI

I am a seasoned ny public school teacher who applauds the mayors great work with regard to the pre -k program.

K teachers put forth all of their best efforts to educate all, and students do thrive, but having a child attend pre-k will help them become better students in many ways.

There is a tremendous gap when students do not attend pre -k. I have had both over the last 30 yrs. in the classroom. Unequivocally, they are more focused, their understanding of routine is established, and most importantly, they enter k with the greatest confidence. In the end, those who attend pre-k are much happier children in school, they work better in the classroom, and they feel good bout school.

I believe THOSE children can then have a much better chance of contributing to society in a healthier more positive way. Isn't that what we all want?


The most important grades are PreK through 3rd grade. This is where and when a student LEARNS TO READ. The parent who needs this most is poor and often working minimum wage jobs, two and three jobs. That parent leaves home early and comes home late. This early school training is very important. My child is an adult but it is my pleasure to pay additional taxes so that other children will have an opportunity to be successful.


My only problem with spending money on PreK is that currently NYC K-12 schools do not have the resources for the existing kids. Many schools don't have enough books, computers, healthy lunches, etc. Having to hire more teachers to play games with kids all day is not right when kids in middle schools and high schools don't have what they need. Reduce class sizes in middle school and add tutoring to these kids to teach study skills and discipline.

Audrey C
clinton hill

I'm pleased that we have this pre-k initiative in place. Hopefully it will take off in September without problems. Mayor DeBlasio should get the credit for this push. Gov. Cuomo was not interested in this area until the mayor pushed it to the fore front.


In my opinion, the money should have been allocated to create more after school programs for middle school and high school students in the city. I live a few blocks away from a NYC public high school, and it is clear that a large majority of the kids do not have anything positive to do after school. At the middle school/public school age, the kids have more things in to deal with (peer pressure, getting into college, teen pregnancy). This age needs more because they are closer to facing the real world.

Upper West Side

Congrats to the Mayor on Pre K, now lets move on to governing the city by filling the dozen or so vacant commissioner positions. Enough already on Pre K.


All day PK is not. good for all children. There something to be said for readiness. Readiness is supplied by the parent. Basic skills are learned at home, in the park and in the grocery store. Social skills are learned at home. Too much is expected of the school system. Formula for problems!

K in a hollis

I think the funding for program is excellent. However, I live in a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is not receiving one new Pre K seat. I'm not sure what this means for us. All of the current seats are given to children with siblings in the school. Both my husband and I work and don't have the luxury to be commuting our child to other neighborhoods before we go to work. How are the CBOs chosen? I still have so many questions about this. I feel like the middle class continues to be squeezed out, but I hope I'm not fully comprehending the logistics. Seems like the rich can still send their kids to private schools and the poor will now have pre k in their neighborhoods. But the middle class sees no benefit from this program.

Lisa, Carroll gardens

I am so excited about this initiative. I paid thousands of dollars for my daughter to attend pre-K3 and pre-K4 at a catholic school. The results are clear. My daughter reads at a 4th grade level now in the first grade and her math scores are through the roof. I am excited for parents who will now receive this benefit for free.

Thank you

Go De Blasio! He set this important agenda and is getting it done. Now, many more children will have access to pre-K programs in this city, especially some of our children in high-need areas, who I am confident will benefit greatly. I could not be more excited!

Pre-K Teacher, Brooklyn

Hi John,

Unless these pre K seats are in Charter schools, I don't think it will make any difference in our children's future.

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