Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders may be close to a budget deal that provides $300 million in funding for New York City pre-kindergarten. Albany lawmakers stressed that no figure was settled yet, but Cuomo said the final number would depend on how much a municipality needed and capacity to spend, and then referred to the city asking for $300 million. The amount is $40 million less than Mayor Bill de Blasio has been seeking and does not necessarily create a dedicated annual funding source, which the mayor has been calling for. It appears that de Blasio's desired tax increase on the city's highest earners to pay for pre-K and middle school after-school programming will not be a part of the deal. De Blasio has said the city is ready to provide full-day pre-K for 53,000 kids by this September, and have 73,000 enrolled by year two. Rather than receiving the funds up front, a district will first have to spend money on pre-K and then seek reimbursement from the state. It's still unclear how much funding the city will receive in after-school funding.

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