Universal Pre-K: It’s Finally Happening under Mayor de Blasio

By Chris Sprycha

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to increase taxes for New Yorkers earning more than $500,000 a year in order to fund full-day pre-k classes for New York City’s children.

This universal pre-k plan will open up more seats for those who would like to enroll their children in an alternative to daycare. This year, the number of seats available for preschoolers will increase from twenty thousand to fifty three thousand. The following year, this number will increase to thousand students. Universal pre-k will help students be more prepared for the future, because as many studied show children who receive early education perform better in the long run.

Although they teach high school, many teachers at Tech support the plan to increase the amount of seats for pre-k. Jean Brutus, a physical education teacher, says, “[The plan] is good and will help the children in the future. Not only will it do all of this, but it will also help education among minorities.”

Indra Ramnath, a global history teacher, is also in favor of the plan. She say, “It is a really good idea. In the long term, it will close education gaps between the lower income groups with fewer resources and the wealthy or high income groups with access to resources. The first five years are crucial to development in language, academics, and the whole. Both groups rich and poor will be on a level playing field.”

Many students also support the mayor’s plan. Filiz Keser ‘15 comments, “Pre-k develops good social skills, and it is also a good public babysitting program. Plus, we definitely need more funding for schools.”

While most seem to be in agreement that students deserve pre-k, there is controversy over the proposed tax-hike. Brutus says, “Nobody likes taxes, including me. However, when it is for education, then the taxes can be justified.”

Ramnath says of the tax plan, “The top 1% bracket is higher and they are hit with many more taxes. No one group should carry the full burden, but the cause is for the greater good.”

Mayor de Blasio’s plan goes into effect this fall. Results will not be seen right away, but in time New York City will see a change in its education system. Hopefully, future generations will be more prepared for higher learning and have more opportunities to succeed.

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