January 29, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – Members of the UPKNYC coalition praised President Obama’s call for universal, high-quality pre-K in his State of the Union Address.
“The President gets it, New Yorkers get it: pre-K is a critical investment we cannot afford to delay," said Michelle Yanche, Assistant Executive Director for Government and External Relations at Good Shepherd Services. “What’s missing is a sustainable, reliable source of funding to make it a reality. That is why it is so important that Albany pass New York City’s plan to raise the resources we need to provide dedicated funding for pre-K and after-school.
“President Obama is right to push for universal pre-K: sustained, high-quality investment in early education would be a game changer,” said Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses New York. “But while Congress bickers, New York City can make universal pre-K a reality if Albany passes the City’s plan.”
On Monday January 27, an inter-agency report by the City of New York indicated that it is prepared to provide free, high-quality, full-day pre-K to the 73,250 children eligible for it by the 2015-2016 school year, beginning with 53,604 in September 2014. The report estimated that the program will cost an average of $10,239 per child or $340 million annually, of which $97 million will be dedicated to start-up costs in year one.