Dozens of parents, students from Pre-K to college ages, teachers, and advocates from across New York State traveled to ask that legislators support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to invest $25 million to expand full-day Pre-K programs, as well as to maintain the current $385 million level of funding for Universal Pre-K.
“Our state should do everything in its power to reduce crime in our communities, which is why it’s so important to support this investment in full day Pre-K,” saidChief Steven Krokoff, Albany Police Department. “Early childhood education puts our kids on a path to success and is proven to reduce instances of criminal activity in the future. How can we afford not to do this?”
“Quality early childhood education is a key tactic for crime prevention, which is one reason why it’s so important to invest in this Pre-K program,” said Sergeant Tracy Henry of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. “By increasing the educational success of our kids, we’re increasing the likelihood that they’ll continue on a productive path throughout their lives.”
“Like most parents, my fiancé and I work full time jobs,” said Raheim Smith, a parent from Long Island. “Half day programs just don’t cut it and many private day care programs are still too expensive to be a viable alternative for most. Full day Pre-K is not a want for young families, it is a need both educationally and economically.”
“Full-day pre-kindergarten has a proven track record of success,” said Billy Easton, Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education. “It increases student outcomes in schools, results in more success in college and the job market, and reduces incarceration rates. Governor Cuomo’s proposal to start a pilot program in full-day pre-kindergarten should be adopted by the legislature.”
“No matter how beautiful and well-designed the building, it will not last if the foundation is not well established,” said Cliff Bird, Principal of Abram Lansing Elementary School in Cohoes, NY. “The same for education; the earlier we can start the foundation and make it solid and secure, the more successful our students.”
“We have so many parents here in the Bronx desperate for full-day Pre-K,” said Bonnie Mallonga, Executive Director, 1199 Future of America Learning Center. “Our parents understand the value of early childhood education, but they can’t afford private tuition. They can’t get their kids to a part-day program because of their schedules. They are thrilled to hear about the Governor’s new proposal!”
“Expanding our investment in quality early learning programs is one of the most effective ways we can ensure our children’s success while strengthening our economy and our communities,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York. “Governor Cuomo’s proposal to expand Pre-K programs to full-day builds on Speaker Silver’s long term commitment to quality early learning and is a welcomed step toward ensuring all of our kids have the best chance at success that we can provide.”