Mayor Bill de Blasio invited 19 New York City parent bloggers to City Hall on Friday. He answered few of their questions, and asked them to push for his plan to expand prekindergarten and after-school.
First Lady Chirlane McCray, Deputy Mayors Richard Buery and Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, as well as Education Department Chief Strategy Officer Josh Wallack also attended.
Both de Blasio and the city’s first lady called on the bloggers to support the current pre-K and after-school expansion.
“You guys play a central role. People respect your voices and I think they need to hear your urgency,” de Blasio said.
“We’ve got a really good plan, we’ve got a lot of support, and you can help us move this plan forward,” McCray said.
The Mayor is having trouble to securing financing for the plan, which requires approval from the state legislature to raise taxes on New Yorkers earning over $500,000.
The bloggers got to ask six questions before running out of time.
They were assured that pre-K and after-school won’t be mandatory. De Blasio also said the pre-K in overcrowded areas will probably be expanded through community based organizations operating outside of public school buildings.
He also said his plan does not take in consideration construction costs for new spaces.
“[T]here are some areas where the only solution is to create pre-k centers. It’s not part of same funding stream we’re talking about. That would take city capital funds and we have committed to that because we have to build out this plan,” de Blasio said.
After the questions session De Blasio invited the bloggers to come again for another set of topics.