Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 4.23.19 PM Image credit: NYC Mayor's Office

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made an appearance in Albany on Monday to tout his signature plan for universal pre-kindergarten before the joint Fiscal Committees.

 

By raising taxes on those making more than $500,000 a year from the current 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent, de Blasio said, the city would securethe $340 million a recentreportdeemed necessary for providing every four-year-old child in the city with free all-day pre-kindergarten.

"We can level the field for our kids – every child in every borough of our city – by asking those who make more than half a million dollars a year to pay a little more in taxes," de Blasio said. "This one dedicated measure would fully fund universal pre-K in our city, and let us expand middle school extended learning programs, too."

If the program goes forward, he added, the city could begin accommodating about 54,000 pre-K students by this September.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has previously called for statewide universal pre-K, but has been leery of raising taxes to fund it.

De Blasio, for his part, made it clear last month that when it comes to potential state funding for his plan, he is not interested in partial funding or
"half-measures."

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports

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