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De Blasio: Now We Can Move Forward To Fix Our School System

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York’s budget deal is set to sail through the Legislature Monday, but even as the proposal races toward policy, Mayor Bill de Blasio may be readying a maneuver.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported, de Blasio’s tax-the-rich plan for pre-kindergarten funding could be revived next year.

While some charter school advocates championed the budget deal Saturday, other education advocates say New York City has been short-changed, again.

“The universal pre-K funding is a very good thing, but just about everything else about it, at least in terms of education, is really a disaster for public school kids in New York City,” said education advocate Noah Gotbaum.

According to Gotbaum, billions of dollars needed for the city’s public schools did not make it into the budget deal.

“The state is $2 billion dollars short in funding New York City schools, and that has been accumulating $2 billion dollars every year we’re not getting that money. We need that money and the courts have said it,” Gotbaum said.

Mayor de Blasio remained upbeat, saying city schools are a work in progress, Langford reported.

“To change our schools, to fix our school system is going to take a major set of reforms. Major changes, not small changes. Big, bold changes. One of them is full-day pre-K for every child in the city. Another is extended learning through after school,” the mayor said.

Some have suggested de Blasio has lost control of the Department of Education to Albany and charter schools.

“Now the legislature has made a blanket law that says you have to provide space to charter schools, you don’t have to provide space to public schools, but you have to provide space to charter schools,” Gotbaum said.

De Blasio said now that funding for pre-kindergarten has been secured his administration can move forward with other education initiatives.

“No look, we’re very pleased we’ve gotten our number one education initiative done, and that we’re now going to be able to move forward to fix our school system,” de Blasio said.

The mayor’s march forward may just be getting started.

A source told CBS 2 News de Blasio’s tax the rich proposal to expand pre-kindergarten could well re-appear on the agenda in Albany next year.

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