Universal Pre-K


The second largest public school system in Massachusetts is expanding early childhood education through what officials say is a unique partnership with the private sector.

A new free preschool in Springfield is currently enrolling eligible 4-year-old children for classes that will start next month.  There are approximately 300 openings in the Springfield Cooperative Preschool, which is being run collaboratively by the public schools, Head Start, the Square One organization, and the YMCA of Greater Springfield.  

Lochoaymca/Wikimedia Commons

A universal pre-kindergarten bill signed into law this year in Vermont is being delayed until the 2016-2017 school year.

Pre-K Expansion To Be Low In September

Jun 24, 2014
Office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Fewer than 20 percent of school districts outside of New York City have expressed interest in expanding their pre-kindergarten programs. Critics say the number falls far short of the goals of a program billed in the state budget as universal pre-K.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York's legislative leaders are negotiating over property tax relief and pre-kindergarten funding a week before a new budget is due. Leaders emerging from closed-door talks Monday at the Capitol say they continue to make progress to get a deal by April 1.

There have been differences over how much money to devote to pre-K, a signature issue for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. There also has been legislative resistance to Cuomo's property tax relief plan, which would require localities to consolidate or share services for local homeowners to benefit.

Mrs. D Goes To Albany

Mar 5, 2014

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray will lobby for her husband's pre-kindergarten plan in Albany next week.

McCray revealed the trip to The Associated Press on Wednesday during her first extensive interview since her husband Bill de Blasio  took office in January.

De Blasio wants to fund his proposal by raising taxes on wealthy New Yorkers. But he needs approval from the state Legislature that has not been forthcoming.

HV Assemblymember Weighs In On Universal Pre-K

Feb 27, 2014

As debate continues over how to fund universal pre-kindergarten in New York State, an Assemblymember from the Hudson Valley wants to ensure that funding for special education programs is part of the plan.

Democratic Assemblymember Didi Barrett recently sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver asking for both universal pre-K and pre-K special education funding to be included in the 2014-15 state budget. She says it’s time to remove the financial burden from local governments.

Children at school on a computer
Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

A new report released today by a group of education advocates argues that allowing New York City to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for Pre-K would benefit kids across the entire state. 

Pre-K Could Become Upstate-Downstate Split

Feb 13, 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo seems to have gained the upper hand and some new allies in his policy skirmish with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over how to fund pre-kindergarten, as the fight threatens to turn into an upstate downstate split.

Pre-K Funding Fight Not Letting Up At Capitol

Feb 11, 2014
wikipedia commons

The debate over universal pre-kindergarten shows no signs of slowing down at the New York State Capitol. The Democratic Mayor of New York City is not backing down from his plan to tax the wealthy to pay for pre-K, while upstate and suburban Republicans in the State Senate say they will block a vote on the tax proposal.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's prepared to write a check to fund all the costs of universal pre-kindergarten as fast as New York City can phase in the program. 

Cuomo made the comments to The New York Times, a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to back down from his signature proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy to expand pre-K — despite Cuomo's inclusion of alternate funding in the state budget to pay for it.

Cuomo questioned why the tax was needed if the state would fully fund pre-K.

1/23/14 Panel

Jan 23, 2014

    Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao, and Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus, Ira Fusfeld.

Topics include:
Cuomo Pre K
NSA Panel
Fracking in National Forest
Yankees Money

Photo Provided

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget released Tuesday includes one of the largest investments in New York’s education system. His call for statewide universal pre-K is being praised by educators in the North Country.

1/22/14 Panel

Jan 22, 2014

    Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, newsman Ray Graf, and Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Pre-K Dispute
VA Gov Indicted
Christie called to Leave RGA
Yale Tangle
NSA Poll

Jared Benedict

A new bill introduced in the New York State Assembly will create funding to include Pre-K students as part of transportation aid that is received by school districts for K-12 students.

Legislation introduced  by 109th district Assemblywoman Pat Fahy would bring parity for Pre-K transportation by providing state aid to public school districts as is now provided for K-12 education.

A co-leader of the New York State senate says the New York City mayor-elect has his full support when it comes to a certain plan.

That plan, from New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio, is to establish universal pre-kindergarten and pay for it by increasing taxes for New Yorkers earning more than $500,000 a year. Here’s state senator from the Bronx, Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference.

At a time when debate over the Common Core is front and center, pro-education groups are out with a new plan offering a roadmap for full-day universal prekindergarten in New York State.

The Center for Children’s Initiatives and the Campaign for Educational Equity have unveiled a statewide plan that offers a financial strategy that recognizes pre-K as an essential educational service, while providing a plan to phase in pre-K to the state's 3- and 4-year-olds over the next eight years.