Heard Around Town: Half-Hearted Hurrah for Half-Day Pre-K

By Sarina Trangle

August 19, 2015

It was not quite the mazel tov moment the mayor might have envisioned.

New York City recently announced it would offer 4,500 half-day pre-kindergarten slots this fall, which comes on the heels of a campaign by parochial schools to get the city to expand the number of half-day seats and accommodate religious programs that do not have enough secular class time to meet full-day universal pre-kindergarten requirements.

But some officials and groups that had advocated for the seats were quick to couch their thanks in gripes about delays in getting a response from the city. They claim the three-week timeline before classes start does not give providers ample time to hire staff and make other preparations.

“Many more students would have been able to participate in the half-day program had this process been as open and timely as the full-day UPK application process,” said Orthodox Union Advocacy-Teach New York State in a statement. “It took nearly eight months from when the mayor announced he would release a Request for Proposals (RFP) in December 2014, to the release of these seats just three weeks before the beginning of the school year.” 

Click here to read the full article in City & State.