De Blasio’s after school expansion caught in pre-K fight crossfire

de blasio after school
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who visted the Bronx School of Young Leaders after-school program in January, released a new detailed report for an after-school programming expansion on Monday.
Credit: NYC Mayor’s Office/Flickr

The city is ready to commit $190 million a year to pay for after-school programming for its public middle schools, doubling the number of eligible students in the fall.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the administration would boost the education as well as the youth and community development departments to cover an additional 273 schools that don’t offer after-school services.

The plan’s success, however, is tied up with the ongoing fight for universal prekindergarten.

In total, the city would increase the number of schools and community centers to 512 from 239. That means an additional 62,791 middle school-aged students would have access after-school programming by September, if the city can secure the money.

“This is not a small undertaking. This is not a pilot program,” de Blasio said. “This is a system-wide change.”

Like with most recent announcements, de Blasio called the after school expansion “a game changer.” He explained the program would essentially extend the learning day by three hours and called it a “holistic investment in our children.”

The program has been long tied to the de Blasio administration’s efforts to secure funding for universal prekindergarten.

The expansion for after school relies on the same tax hike on New Yorkers who earn $500,000 or more, a fight the administration has already been embroiled in for months.

The calculation for that fight hasn’t changed much, de Blasio — who is scheduled to visit Albany tomorrow to lobby legislators to allow the city to increase taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers — said state lawmakers have been receptive.

“I think we keep adding information to the equation, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s having a big impact on the discussion,” de Blasio said of talks with lawmakers. “They want a, obviously, better school system.”

Ahead of his latest visit, de Blasio told reporters he hopes to meet with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has proposed statewide universal pre-kindergarten without a tax hike that polls show New Yorkers statewide would favor over the city’s proposal.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.