by Ross Barkan
May 6, 2015
A coalition of Orthodox Jews and secular parents united this morning to demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio provide universal half-day pre-kindergarten slots to every parent in the city that wants one.
Speakers at the press conference, held outside a park in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, accused Mr. de Blasio of making a “bizarre” decision to neglect half-day providers in favor of full-day programs, burdening both religious and secular parents who do not want their children in a program for the city-required six hours and 20 minutes.
“Many parents are actually saying, ‘We either don’t want, don’t need or can’t use full-day UPK. Instead, we want half-day UPK.’ And the option we’re giving them is full UPK or nothing,” said Councilman David Greenfield, a Democrat who represents the heavily Jewish neighborhoods of Borough Park and Midwood. “That doesn’t really make sense because parents have different schedules, they have different needs, children are different.”
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