Mayor's 3-K Plan Will See Initial Roll Out This Fall

The graduation rate in the city reached nearly 73 percent past year, up from 71 percent in 2015, with about 51 percent of graduates meeting City University of NY standards for being college-ready in English and math, de Blasio said in February.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday announced a plan to create free universal pre-K for 3 year olds.

The plan must also win-over state lawmakers in Albany - who have blocked a number of the Mayor's past legislative initiatives - and the GOP led Congress, which has yet to approve the city's $35 million reimbursement request for the cost of securing Trump Tower during the presidential transition.

The program will then expand to six more districts by 2020 and hopes to offer universal pre-K access to all 3-year-olds by 2021. It will get youngsters into an environment that supports their academic and social development a year earlier when they are young, impressionable and ready to grow. That cost will more than quadruple to $177 million by 2021 when the program goes citywide.

"The human mind has this extraordinary spongelike capacity in those first years", de Blasio said. De Blasio, when asked about the challenges of getting that money, especially from the federal government, said he refused to be "held back by our current reality".

There are a record 69,510 students enrolled in Pre-K for All, city data shows. The new program aims to serve over 11,000 three-year-olds.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the ability to share, cooperate, collaborate, and critical thinking will be fostered.

"We are hitting the ground running with the lessons that we've learned from the Pre-K for All expansion", said Fariña.

  • Joanne Flowers