April 28, 2015
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – Thousand of parents prefer that their children attend half-day Universal Pre-K schooling in non-profit centers. Half-day community based UPK programs have historically been a viable option for many parents and children. Community non-profit schools and religious institutions have city contracts that are expiring at the end of this school year. But these centers that educate young children will not be able to continue providing services without city approval.
This requires the city implementing a 'Request for Proposals' (RFP) application process which has not yet taken place. Without the city implementing this review process, several thousand young children will not be provided with a pre-school education, and thousands of educators will be unemployed.
Pre-school early education centers are sponsored by religious institutions and private non-profit organizations, and the RFP application process is required by the city to continue operations and funding. Five months have passed since Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the city’s half-day Universal Pre-K (UPK) program.
“We are disappointed that the mayor would treat this program, as well as the students and parents, in such a cavalier manner,” said Maury Litwack, director of State Political Affairs for the Orthodox Union. “We call on the administration to release the long-promised RFP for the half-day UPK program so that schools that rely on this program can begin to prepare for next year.”
Mayor de Blasio promised in early December 2014, and again last February, that an RFP for the half-day program would be released. Despite the end of the school year looming, no information from the Mayor’s Office has been released, leaving those schools reliant on this program—and the parents—with nothing.