De Blasio: NYC Has a Shortage of Full-Day Pre-K Spots

by Claudia Morell
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classroom

pengrin, flickr

New report finds New York City's full-day pre-K programs don't have enough seats to meet demand.

The application process for full-day Pre-K admission to New York City public schools opened Monday, and New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio says the city does not have enough seats for everyone.

According to a report he released Monday, Manhattan and Queens have the greatest mismatch, with one seat for every five applicants. In Staten Island and Brooklyn, there are only four seats for every one applicant. The Bronx had the smallest disparity at 3.5 seats per applicant.

De Blasio said shortages in staff and space make a seat at the local Pre-K as exclusive as one at an Ivy league school.

"If we were talking about colleges, that would be the same acceptance rate as for Yale, Columbia or Princeton. That's the reality of pre-K in our city right now," de Blasio said.

The report also notes that less than a third of the children eligible for full-day Pre-K are currently enrolled in a program.

The mayoral candidate has called for an income tax on residents making $500,000 or more to make free, full-day Pre-K available for all four-year-olds in the city. Under his plan, the revenue would also go toward other educational programs, such as more after-school programs for middle schoolers.

WFUV's Stephanie Colombini contributed to this story.

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