There is a huge debate going on in Albany regarding the State’s new Pre-K and Afterschool Program and how it’s funding should be disbursed.
The State Education Commissioner estimates it will take $1.6 billion annually to implement pre-K statewide. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s has proposed to use a budgeted 75 million in funding for the pre-K program to be distributed throughout all of New YorkState equally. With 55 percent of the half-day pre-K population in New York City alone, Mayors statewide are getting nervous the money will be spread too thin. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio suggests taxing his wealthier population in the city and self serve their own education needs. Executive Director for the Alliance for Quality Education, Billy Easton says, we need to implement both ideas.
There are 225,000 four-year-olds in New YorkState, Mayor de Blasio’s plan would serve 74,000 of them. Easton Suggests, Mayors across the state should start backing the New York City plan in conjunction with Cuomo’s plan so that their communities don’t have to compete with New York City for scarce state pre K dollars.
If Governor Cuomo’s plan is the only one chosen by legislature, once fully implemented, the $75 million after five years would serve less than one- third of four year olds.