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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Universal Pre-K

Universal Pre-K

  • Bill De Blasio Has Been A Good Mayor, Actually

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    Mayor de Blasio and kids (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    I would have voted for Bill de Blasio a third time if I could. Strip away the car trips to the Park Slope Y and the misguided presidential run, and evaluate the objective facts about New York City before and after his eight years in office and his two terms were a success. De Blasio’s administration shows the value of liberal incrementalism, or as President Obama put it: ...

  • Expanding Educational Opportunities for Our Youngest Learners

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    Kids at school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Economic and racial inequities have been a plague in New York City’s education system for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation for our most vulnerable students. Faced with the reckoning of remote learning, we’ve been bombarded with stories of how our public schools lack the resources to adequately equip students with the technology they need to stay afloat, while something as simple as providing wi-fi to every child has only been met with excuses. Yet often

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  • As Early Childhood Educators Consider Strike, New York City Must Achieve Pay Parity

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We know now, more than ever, just how malleable the mind of a young child is, and we understand that the earlier we begin engaging a child’s mind, the better off that child will be. Early childhood education can positively impact the academic, social, and emotional development of children, while providing much-needed financial relief for our city’s low-income families with children, for whom child care is a major expense.

    Our city recognizes the significance early childhood education has, both for

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  • A Fairer New York City Requires Salary Parity for the Early Childhood Workforce

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    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    At his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio pointed to the expansion of universal prekindergarten for New York City four-year-olds and the expansion of 3-K as an integral part of his administration’s commitment to making New York City “the fairest big city in the country.”

    While listening to the mayor’s speech – and the attention he paid to the success of universal pre-K and the new 3-K expansion – child advocates and educators in the audience found ourselves wanting to shout out ‘Salary parity now!’

    To date, the

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  • DOE School Survey Shows High Marks, Contrasts with Public Polling

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    Mayor, Chancellor & Student (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    In 2007, New York City administered its first comprehensive survey on school satisfaction levels among students, parents, and teachers in the city’s vast public school system. That year, the Department of Education received just under 600,000 responses. In 2016, with the survey in its tenth year, the number of responses

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  • Top 10 Accomplishments of Progressive Leadership & The Need to #ProtectProgress

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    Council Members Richards, left, and Reynoso, the authors, address a crowd


    As co-chairs of the New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus, we have worked closely with Mayor de Blasio since he took office. It is clear that the mayor has delivered for our constituents and all 8.4 million New Yorkers in transformative ways. From affordable housing to quality jobs to expanded educational programming, New Yorkers are doing better and the scale of the accomplishments is substantial.

    In partnership with our Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the City Council, Mayor

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  • Pre-K Offers Parents Opportunity at Economic Gain

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    Scene at the Queens Library (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Three years after Bill de Blasio promised universal pre-kindergarten in his mayoral campaign, New York City alone has more enrolled preschoolers than any other state except for Georgia. The city’s free Pre-K For All program received interest from 6,500 families on its first day of accepting applications in 2014. Now more than 68,000

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  • The Next Step to Helping Immigrant Families Thrive

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    Council Member Menchaca, a co-author, promotes IDNYC (photo: @IDNYC)


    In recent years, New York City has taken tremendous strides forward in supporting immigrants. Many of Mayor de Blasio's signature initiatives—particularly universal pre-kindergarten (UPK), IDNYC, and community schools—have offered vital new services to New Yorkers across the city that have been tremendously beneficial for immigrants seeking to fully integrate themselves into our society and see their families thrive.

    Now, there's another critical step that New York

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  • Library Funding One Discrepancy in Quiet City Budget Season

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    Council Member Van Bramer leads a library funding rally (photo: William Alatriste)


    Funding for New York City’s three public library systems is still $22 million short of the $65 million in city funding libraries received before the recession, despite increased demand for the services libraries provide, the presidents of the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library said at a March 23 City Council preliminary budget hearing.

    Hundreds of orange-clad librarians and library advocates filled the

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  • Will the Democrats' Fresh Entitlements Lift Poor Families?

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    De Blasio on a school visit (photo: Ed Reed, Mayoral Photography Office)


    Circle time at preschool teaches much about civility and unity, how best to contribute to a pint-size society.

    So when little Lela whispered from the corner, "I'm ready to come back," teacher Katie Wassel in Washington Heights figured lesson learned, the 4-year-old rejoined a tight crescent of fidgeting peers seated on a colorful rug. You can't elbow your neighbor at circle time.

    Hillary Clinton draws a wide and inclusive circle all her own, pitching fresh entitlements

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  • Measuring the Mayor’s Education Agenda

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    De Blasio at a parents' night (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office via flickr)


    There are three main data points by which New York City mayors are usually judged on their management of city schools: state standardized test scores; and rates of student graduation and college-readiness. As Mayor Bill de Blasio is now in his second year at the helm of the city’s 1,800 schools and 1.1 million

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  • Report Shows Need for Elementary After-School Expansion

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    Mayor de Blasio & students (photo: Mayor's Office)


    The expansion of public educational programs to enhance the traditional school system and combat rising inequality has been a signature of the de Blasio administration.

    Much like his universal pre-kindergarten program, de Blasio's vast expansion of middle school after-school offerings allows more structured opportunity for young people as well as more assurance and opportunity for parents.

    Yet, while ...

  • Pre-K Pillar in Place, De Blasio Must Build Rest of His Case for Mayoral Control

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    De Blasio greets a parent on the first day of school (photo: @BilldeBlasio)


    It was his number one campaign policy proposal and as mayor, he's delivering. Mayor Bill de Blasio went on a five-borough school tour Wednesday to celebrate the first day of the 2015-2016 academic year and the initial success of his universal pre-kindergarten program, now enrolling more than 65,500 children.

    If there is one thing that de Blasio promised on the 2013 campaign trail, it was "UPK," as it is often called, and in a

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  • Breaking Down the City Budget

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    Mayor & Speaker at budget announcement (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Wednesday, July 1, marked the beginning of the new fiscal year under a $78.6 billion budget agreed upon by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council.

    When he unveiled his preliminary budget outline in February, de Blasio ...

  • Education Upheaval in Albany is Backdrop to DOE Budget Hearing

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    Chancellor Carmen Farina testifying Thursday (photo: @MarkLevineNYC)


    With an eye on Albany, it was time Thursday morning for New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to again testify in front of the City Council about her agency's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget and key education issues facing the city. The heightened level of concern with events in the capital comes amid shakeups in state leadership, important legislation on the negotiating table with deadlines looming, and recently passed controversial state teacher evaluation laws.

  • With New Budget, Key Issues Championed by City Officials Left for Later

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    Governor Cuomo (photo: @NYGovCuomo)


    As state budget negotiations delivered a new deal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was willing to drop many priorities from his spending plan, several of which are of great importance to New York City officials, including his sometime friend Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    With adoption of the state's fiscal year 2016 budget, a host of progressive issues de Blasio and his allies touted were abandoned. Both Cuomo and the Democratic Assembly Majority headed by new Speaker Carl Heastie

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 30

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    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    March madness in Albany has been quite a ride, and word Sunday night is that a fiscal year 2016 budget agreement is in place. At about 9:30 p.m., the governor's office announced that Cuomo is now five for five in on-time budgets as governor - not a

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