Gotham Gazette

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The City has filled 97 percent of 26,411 available full or half-day pre-kindergarten seats in public school buildings. Thousands of applicants were turned away by the City because classrooms have been filled though these families may still gain entrance to pre-K at community-based organizations, where there are tens of thousands more seats for next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that demand for seats has increased by 35 percent compared to last year. As a result less than half of applicants were placed in their top-choice and about two-thirds of 41,000 applicants were placed in a public school. Free universal full-day pre-kindergarten is the signature issue of de Blasio’s first term and now that he has secured funding the issue enters a more complicated logistical phase. “We know there’s going to be some really happy families today,” de Blasio said at a news conference at Public School 203 in Brooklyn yesterday. “We know there’s going to be other families who are looking for the next step in the process and the next opportunities.”

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