State should support de Blasio UPK plan
Dec 04, 2013 | 1713 views | 0 0 comments | 169 169 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio is wasting no time on his agenda for 2014.

De Blasio, who takes office on January 1, met with Speaker Sheldon Silver and a number of Democratic members of the Assembly this week to begin his push for a tax increase to fund universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) in the city.

The news comes on the same day that the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. high school students flat-lined on international achievement exam test scores in 2012; dropping from 29th to 31st in the world in math, 20th to 24th in science, and 11th to 21st in reading.

In addition to deteriorating test scores, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger recently supported the plan for UPK, stating that it would help reduce hunger rates among children throughout the city by providing federally funded breakfast and lunch for kids.

According a recent coalition study, between 1.3 and 1.4 million NYC residents, including one in five children, currently live in households lacking sufficient food supplies.

A plan to provide additional schooling would not only cut the numbers of children in need of a meal, as schools would subsequently provide for their students, but it would also ensure children a safe place during the day and a much-needed head start on education.

Since this can only be accomplished through the state legislature, de Blasio has his work cut out for him as Republicans have already voiced a strong opposition.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has yet to take a stance on the proposal, should support de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes and fund the city’s education system. De Blasio made the plan a big part of his campaign, and voters agreed. Now it's time for the state to do its part.

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