After Pre-K Funding Feuds, De Blasio and Cuomo Play Nice - The Jewish Voice
85 F
New York
Sunday, July 3, 2022

After Pre-K Funding Feuds, De Blasio and Cuomo Play Nice

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Must read

De Blasio and Cuomo reach an agreement that will rportedly end their dispute over the funding of universal pre-K.
De Blasio and Cuomo reach an agreement that will rportedly end their dispute over the funding of universal pre-K.
It appears as if Governor Andrew Cuomo isn’t the only one who has compromised touted campaign promises in order to get the state budget to pass. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has compromised some of his campaign ideals as well. While Cuomo’s were connected to the promise of the Moreland Commission, de Blasio’s are connected to the dream of funding universal pre-K with a tax on the wealthy.

And after battling one another for months on end over the issue, Cuomo and de Blasio are both brazenly taking credit for the $340 million state-budget deal that just passed, claiming it is a major step forward for the state’s four-year-olds.

Cuomo and top lawmakers finalized budget bills late on the evning of Monday, March 31. The budget now inludes $300 million for pre-K in New York City and $40 million for programs in the rest of the state, according to Capital New York, which explained that “the funding stream is shouldered by the state, without the high-earner tax de Blasio made a cornerstone of his campaign for mayor.”

On Saturday, Cuomo called the pre-K plan “an aggressive drive statewide.”

Also on Saturday, de Blasio came within an inch of claiming an outright victory, but said that the resources available to the city under the Cuomo plan would be sufficient for the pre-K he envisioned in the five boroughs, even if it didn’t come from his proposal to tax the wealthy.

“What we’re seeing so far constitutes an extraordinary and historic step forward for New York City,” de Blasio said. “It’s clearly the resources we need to create full-day pre-K for every child in this city. That’s what we set out to do.

“So from what we’re seeing so far, it’s an incredible beginning … but still more details to come,” he said.

The budget designates that pre-K funds will be distributed on a competitive basis, Capital New York explained. The competitive basis is consistent with Cuomo’s educational and economic development strategies. The funding will be based on a reimbursement structure, according to reports, with school districts possibly getting up to 25 percent of the funds in advance. This aspect of the funding is key, according to Capital New York, for school districts upstate “that have struggled financially and argued they wouldn’t have the up-front money to launch pre-K programs.”

Cuomo will present the $1.5 billion in funds over the next five years, but he hesitated when asked to explain how the funding schedule would work. He said there would be $340 million available for each of the first two years, but the distribution in subsequent years has not yet been explained.

“It’s a road the state really hasn’t gone down before, and five years is a really long time to look down any road,” Cuomo said. “We have to see how it actually goes, and we have to see how many districts actually come in.”

Lawmakers from both the Long Island area as well as upstate New York have been pushing for pre-K money to be flexible, Capital New York reported, so that school districts can use it either for kindergarten or operating expenses. At press time it does not seem that such flexibility in the use of the funds went into the actual language of the budget bill that was passed.

The legislation does include, however, a a new set of guidelines for pre-K programs when it comes to teacher certification, curriculum and family engagement. Furthermore, “all schools, including charters and parochials, as well as community-based organizations, libraries and museums, would be able to offer pre-K,” Capital New York explained.

“It’s not just an aggressive undertaking for statewide pre-K,” Cuomo said. “It’s also about a quality pre-K program, and we’ve rewritten the rules for pre-K in New York. We’re excited about that.”

While de Blasio celebrated the pre-K funding, the budget didn’t deliver all of his demands. Capital New York explains that, without the tax, the pre-K funding is $40 million less than what he was seeking, and he doesn’t have the $190 million he planned to spend on after-school programs for middle school students.

balance of natureDonate

Latest article

- Advertisement -
Skip to content