March 31, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – The Governor, Assembly and Senate have agreed to a budget that includes $1.5 billion in dedicated funding for universal, high-quality pre-K ($300 million per year for five years) and significant funding for after-school programs. The deal will allow New York City to implement the largest single universal, high-quality pre-K program in the country. The Mayor and our leaders in Albany delivered on what has eluded New York for two decades.
Universal pre-k and after-school programs are proven to increase cognition, boost scores and build fundamental skills that put children on an upward educational path. Since this past January, New Yorkers supported Mayor de Blasio by sending 21,335 emails to legislators, signed 25,000 petitions, made over 10,000 calls and participated in hundreds of meetings with Assembly Members and Senators. Clearly this is a major win for Mayor Bill de Blasio and the children of New York City.
"This state has made a powerful and historic decision that will change the lives of tens of thousands of children," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We set out down this road nearly 18 months ago. Through ups and downs, we never wavered from our promise to the people of this city to expand full-day pre-K and after school for our children starting this September," concluded Mayor de Blasio.
Thanks to our Mayor, New York City is now ready to roll out the largest single universal, high-quality pre-K program in the country. Mayor de Blasio and our legislators in Albany have changed the course of history for New York families.