State Education Commissioner John King estimated yesterday that funding statewide pre-K would cost around $1.6 billion per year. The statement, made at a legislative hearing, put him at odds with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed spending $1.5 billion over five years. King later said $1.6 billion should be a goal for the state down the road and called Cuomo's plan a “significant investment.” In response to the statement, Cuomo said all the pre-K figures were "guesstimates." Mayor Bill de Blasio used the occasion to again call for more city funding paid for by a tax on wealthy city residents. In his testimony, King also said he would advocate for a $1.3 billion increase in education aid to help financially strapped schools.
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