When Universal Pre-K is Not Universal

12 Feb 2015

abc_blocks“We will offer every child, from every borough of this city, truly universal, full-day Pre-K.”

That was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to the children of New York City one year ago in his inaugural State of the City address. The Mayor’s pledge of a free pre-K program available to every four-year-old in New York City — regardless of background, religion, or socio-economic status — signaled an exciting and visionary approach to early childhood education for all New York preschoolers.

Unfortunately, this signature education program that promised universality — not just in the nature of the program but in its very name — has fallen far short of the commitments the mayor made one year ago.

Let’s recall that last year Mayor de Blasio was granted $300 million from New York State to implement his universal pre-K program. With such resources, and in light of the Mayor’s stated desire for universal participation, we anticipated that all 4-year-olds in the Orthodox community — together with all other eligible children in New York — would have a place in UPK.

Continue reading at The Jewish Week.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.