The online news organization Capital New York is reporting that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, will offer a proposal for full-day prekindergarten for 4-year-olds in his State of the State address on Wednesday. From the article:
The pre-K plan could serve to defuse a potentially awkward political situation for Cuomo, whose pledge to pursue tax cuts has put him on a potential collision course with newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio's signature proposal is a universal pre-K plan funded by a tax hike on high-earning city residents.
Specifially, De Blasio campaigned on a proposal to levy a special tax on New York City residents earning more than $500,000 a year. That money would be used to pay for universal pre-K for city students as well as after-school programs for middle schoolers. Bloomberg News reports that the proposal—if De Blasio is given the taxing authority by lawmakers in Albany—would generate $530 million over five years. For the 27,300 city taxpayers earning $500,000 to $1 million annually, the average increase would be $973 a year, according to the Independent Budget Office, a municipal agency.
Both the De Blasio plan and Cuomo’s potential proposal are examples of how local officials are taking the lead on early education, as opposed to waiting for federal proposals to make their way out of a gridlocked Congress. Alabama, Hawaii, Michigan, and Mississippi are among the states that devoted more state money to prekindergarten in 2013.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.