Who: Parents, advocates and educators from across New York City
What: Rally for Pre-K choice
Where: Owls Head Park, 68th street and Colonial Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
When: Wednesday, May 6th 2015 at 9:30 AM
Tomorrow morning, Wednesday, May 6 a group of Pre-K parents, education advocates and school leaders will gather to call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to ensure that any family that opts for a half-day Pre-K seat has access to one.
The rally is being held in Bay Ridge where a petition (www.change.org/p/mayor-bill-de-blasio-continue-to-fund-half-day-pre-k) and movement was launched a month ago by parents fighting for half-day Pre-K.
Half-Day UPK has existed since 1998 when the original UPK program was introduced statewide. With the rollout of Mayor de Blasio’s expanded UPK program the City has placed this well-established and successful program in doubt. Last year Deputy Mayor Richard Buery pledged to institute a half-day UPK in the near future; again in February the administration promised to institute a modest half-day program.
On Friday after nearly six months of pledging to do so, the administration instituted a half-day Request for Proposal (RFP). However, the RFP does not contain any guaranteed seat allotments and it is unclear if the program will have sufficient seats to accommodate the demand across the city.
The half-day UPK program has historically been a viable option for New York City’s Jewish day schools and yeshivas. Together with its coalition of New York City Jewish day schools and yeshivas, OU Advocacy-TEACH NYS has asked Mayor de Blasio repeatedly to make the requirements to expand the slots available for the half-day UPK program, in order for the Mayor to realize his vision of universal pre-K education for every child in New York City.