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Cardinal Dolan Supports Expanded NYC Pre-K, Stops Short Of Endorsing Tax On Wealthy

Meanwhile, Cuomo Predicts State Funding Will Be In Place For Fall Classes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Cardinal Timothy Dolan is pledging the support of the city’s Catholic schools to create universal pre-kindergarten.

Dolan appeared Thursday with Mayor Bill de Blasio at the Saint Francis of Assisi School in the Bronx where the two men met with students.

Dolan said that the 1,700 new pre-K seats would be found between the Archdiocese of New York and the Archdiocese of Brooklyn.

The spots would be available to children of all faiths.

But Dolan stopped short of endorsing de Blasio’s plan to fund the program by raising taxes on wealthy New Yorkers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed finding money in the state budget instead. The tax hike needs the support of Albany.

Dolan said he would leave it to the politicians to determine the funding.

“All I’m grateful for is that we’ve got leaders, Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo, who are passionate about this,” Dolan said.

During an event at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan, Cuomo said he believes there will be funding for universal pre-K statewide this fall. Whether it’s actually implemented is less clear.

“It will be whatever the cities want it to be,” he told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “The operational implementation will be up to the cities.”

Cuomo, who staunchly opposes a tax hike, chuckled when speaking about the opposing views held by him and de Blasio over how to fund pre-K.

“I understand the mayor’s opinion, and he’s presented that, I think, on a number of occasions,” Cuomo said.

“What’s most important is the mayor said he supports universal pre-K,” the governor said. “What’s most important is I say I support universal pre-K.”

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