Orthodox Jews and Secular Parents Unite to Demand Half-Day Pre-K Slots

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.”

To read the rest of this article in the New York Observer, click here.