Gotham Gazette

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Mayor Bill de Blasio altered his position on pre-K yesterday, saying he's open to state funding - as long as a verifiable source is found to provide his plan's full amount of $530 million annually over five years. The switch, revealed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, came as the Assembly announced it would include his tax plan in their preliminary budget. On the show, the mayor also acknowledged that he could have done better work in terms of public relations on the charter school front. His first deputy mayor, Anthony Shorris, reiterated the statement afterwards, calling the mistakes "bumps" in communication with the public. But then he went on to link charter schools with support of privatization of the school system. Later in the day, the mayor met privately with a group of supportive charter school executives, who left heartened by the discussion. At about the same time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared on a WNYC radio program to defend charter schools as a more relevant part of the education discussion than pre-K.

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