Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city has found room to accommodate 29,000 students as part of his universal pre-k plan.
Community organizations have located 20,000 seats in 647 sites. Public schools found 9,000 additional seats in 280 elementary schools. The goal is to accommodate 53,000 young students by the fall and 73,000 by the following year.
Despite the progress, de Blasio continues to clash with Albany lawmakers over how to pay for it. De Blasio wants a tax on New Yorkers earning at least $500,000 a year to fund the program in the city. That needs approval from the state legislature.
"We are doing our part here in New York City," de Blasio said. "We need our friends in Albany to do their part. Give us the ability to raise our own resources from our own city to get this done."
Both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos object to higher taxes. Cuomo said the state has the money to fund universal pre-k around the state.
Despite the disagreement, de Blasio maintains that he has a good working relationship with Governor Cuomo.
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