NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Many parents could be met with disappointment Monday as they try to get their children into Pre-kindergarten.
According to a new report from Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the demand for Pre-K seats far exceeds supply across the city. In one Brooklyn neighborhood, de Blasio said there are eight applicants for every available spot.
“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 role the dice every year and hope they’re lucky enough to secure a seat.”
Of the 68,000 children eligible for full-day Pre-K in New York City, only 20,000 receive it, according to the report.
De Blasio is calling for an income tax increase on New Yorkers earning $500,000 or more to fund universal Pre-K, as well as provide quality after-school programs for middle school students across the city.
“It’s 2013, and it’s time for truly universal Pre-K in New York City,” de Blasio said.
A Department of Education spokesperson told the Daily News that the city has invested $20 million this year to add 4,000 full-day Pre-K seats.