Published Online: September 4, 2014

NYC mayor promises 'better foundation' with pre-K

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says his administration is building "a new and better foundation" for children as more than 51,000 start prekindergarten classes.

On the first day of school Thursday, De Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina (Fah-REEN'-yah) and other officials met children at a Brooklyn community-based organization that's part of the mayor's ambitious pre-K expansion.

De Blasio spoke to students and parents at Inner Force Tots. Parent Wendy Alexander said the pre-K program "means to world" to her.

Expanding access to pre-K was de Blasio's signature issue during his campaign.

De Blasio said 51,500 children are now registered for full-day pre-K, up from 20,000 last year.

Meanwhile, older students prepared to meet new teachers and begin a new grade Thursday.

Laila Ortiz said she was excited to start third grade at Public School 33 in Chelsea because she's "starting to get smarter."

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