Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn, Staten Island) held a rally at Our Saviour’s Lutheran School with principal Alice Mulligan and other Community-based pre-K operators that contract with the City of New York to alert Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza that the over-saturation of Department of Education pre-K centers is threatening to put small, community-based programs out of business.
In 2014, Mayor de Blasio increased pre-K enrollment by over 250%. The New York City Department of Education (DOE) reached out to local organization, such as Our Saviour’s Lutheran Preschool, asking them to meet the unprecedented demands and expand their programs. When Our Saviour’s Lutheran Preschool and many others agreed to this proposal they were unaware that the Mayor and DOE were already converting properties in the community to construct their own pre-K centers. In District 20 alone, they built eleven sites with capacity of over 1,700 students, much more than needed, while other grades are very overcrowded.
Additionally, the community-based schools accept a much lower (roughly half) reimbursement per child than the DOE run centers, they regularly lose teachers to the DOE due to pay disparity, and delayed payments from the city result in staff often working without pay for weeks. You can watch the complete rally here.
The Assemblywoman also wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking for his assistance in pushing the State Department of Education to fairly reimburse special needs schools that provide pre-K for students that the city department of education schools cannot accommodate. In her letter, the Assemblywoman highlights that Mayor de Blasio’s promise of Universal Pre-K is not being met because thousands of special needs children across the five boroughs are being deprived of necessary care and resources simply because they have developed differently than their peers. A similar letter was sent to New York State Department of Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia with Assembly colleagues.