NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With the clock ticking down, about half of the allotted seats available in New York City for pre-kindergarten classes have been filled up.

More than 37,000 families have signed up for pre-K since enrollment began last week.

The city said that number accounts for half the administration’s goal of 70,000. The figure is also more than double the nearly 16,000 children who enrolled during the same period last year, according to the Daily News.

City officials credited the jump in numbers to a wider awareness of the program compared to last year. The city has pushed its universal pre-K program in print, radio and subway ads.

Families have until April 24 to enroll for fall classes.

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sent a joint letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers, asking for an extension of the law granting the mayor full control over New York City’s school system.

The letter touts mayoral control as providing much-needed accountability for the city’s public school system, calling it “proven reform with broad support among parents, educators and officials from all ends of the spectrum.”

Click here to read the complete letter.

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