Not enough of the city’s school four-year-olds are going to pre-kindergarten, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced in a new study, especially in Queens.
For Queens, this means that for every five applicants there is one Pre-K seat –- effectively leaving many tots without the early education the public advocate believes they need.
Two of the densest Queens school zones regarding applicants per seat are District 24, in the central and southwest parts of the borough, and District 26 in the northeast.
“The shortage of high-quality, full-time Pre-K seats is hurting thousands of families in every borough,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We can’t continue to be a city where only a fraction of our kids has access to early education, and where working parents have to roll the dice every year and hope they’re lucky enough to secure a seat. It’s 2013, and it’s time for truly universal Pre-K in New York City.”
Only 20,000 of the city’s 68,000 eligible children get to go to Pre-K, according to de Blasio’s report. The public advocate has proposed a plan to allow all four-year-olds to go to Pre-K, along with after school programs between 3 and 6 p.m. for middle schoolers.
Funding, according to de Blasio’s office, would come from a proposed income tax on residents making $500,000 or more.