Monday, February 17, 2014

Pre-K #399

Hotel Union Family Member Pre-K Help for Mayor
The Lobbyists From Hotel, Restaurant & Club Employees & Bartenders Union Local 6 Joshua Gold Ran de Blasio Pre-K Campaign in Albany Against Cuomo
De Blasio Tests Political Might in Pre-K Push (NYT) Josh Gold, a labor organizer tapped by Mr. de Blasio to oversee the prekindergarten campaign.Mr. de Blasio has the support of several powerful unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, which did not endorse him in the primary and is now seeking $3.4 billion in retroactive pay. He also has the backing of 1199 S.E.I.U. United Healthcare Workers East, which supported Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral bid and is planning to give at least $100,000 to the effort. Labor leaders warned they might spend against lawmakers seeking re-election this fall if they stood in the way of Mr. de Blasio’s plan. 

Health Code Forces 2 Pre-K Sites to Close
Administration to close two pre-K sites for health violations (Capital) First closures this academic year amid de Blasio’s big expansion


More Pre-K State Up Problems 
De Blasio’s pre-K push violates rules, puts kids in danger.  De Blasio’s frenzied push to expand pre-K programs has had dangerous consequences—hundreds of serious violations at unprepared centers since the start of the school year, including at least 78 for hazardous infractions that have still not been remedied, the Post reports: 

Preparing Pre-K Press Spin

NEW IN CITY HALL -- Peter Kadushin has been hired as a communications advisor to deputy mayor Richard Buery, as City Hall prepares for the September launch of their universal pre-kindergarten program. Kadushin, who started earlier this week, did media relations for the United Federation of Teachers. And despite the suit and tie.
Someone Who Relates to the Young Press?
And despite the suit and tie, he’s also a pretty zen guy. Follow him at @PeterKadushin.

de Blasio Looking for Pre-K Space
Damn's the Church and State Issue

--“De Blasio’s Prekindergarten Expansion Collides With Church-State Divide,” by NYT’s Sharon Otterman: “The biblical story of Noah’s Ark will be taught, without mention of who told Noah to build it. Challah, the Jewish bread eaten on the Sabbath, will be baked, but no blessings said over it. Some crucifixes will be removed, but others left hanging. These are the kinds of church-state gymnastics that New York City and some religious schools are performing as Mayor Bill de Blasio expands government-funded prekindergarten. Because of inadequate public school capacity, the de Blasio administration has been urging religious schools and community organizations to consider hosting the added programs.”

De Blasio kicked off a universal pre-K “Day of Action” rally inside Tweed courthouse, declaring that he hoped free pre-K would spread “like wildfire” across the country.

* Dozens of Jewish schools in New York City have received universal pre-kindergarten contracts, but the question remains as to whether these schools can comply with the city’s secular program guidelines, City & State reports:

* As New York City ramps up implementation of full-day prekindergarten, it’s unclear how UPK-contracted yeshiva programs and preschools serving predominantly Jewish children will comply with strict religious guidelines set by the city, City & State writes:

Diane Savino Blasts Department of Education Pre-K Flubs | New York Observer

More Pre-K Building Code Violations With Less Inspectors 
Hundreds of planned pre-K centers have building code violations(Capital) * 'IT'S NOT SAFE IN THERE': City pre-K centers rack up thousands of violations(NYDN)NYDN Investigation finds 16 city-run Pre-K sites with 50+ health code violations from vermin to blocked fire exits* The number of specialized health inspectors who check New York City’s prekindergarten and day-care operators has dropped from 47 to 31 since 2008 as they’ve been ordered to make more inspections, the Daily News writes: * Parents call for accountability in pre-K health violations(NYDN)

* Mayor Bill de Blasio said roughly two-thirds of the approximately 40,000 children seeking free prekindergarten seats in September were accommodated, although many were not matched with their top-choice schools, The New York Times reports:

* A top de Blasio administration official, citing Economic Development Corp. figures, said every dollar invested in universal prekindergarten could yield $7 in “individual and social return over the lifetime of the student,” Crain’s reports:

Pre-K Chess Match
NY state Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein backs de Blasio’s pre-K plan(NYP)Cuomo may think so: Sources tell Capital NY that Cuomo will propose funding full-day kindergarten in this week's State of the State Address: "The pre-K plan could serve to defuse a potentially awkward political situation for Cuomo, whose pledge to pursue tax cuts has put him on a potential collision course with newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio." report by Bronx state Sen. Jeff Klein, head of the Senate’s breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, suggests pre-k would be worth the investment,  our Erin Durkin reports: The study found that between increased earnings for students, and decreased expenses to taxpayers from criminal justice, remedial ed and other costs, universal pre-K for a year’s worth of 4-year olds would generate $3.7 billion by the time those kids are 26. On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly set to propose a statewide alternative to Bill de Blasio‘s universal pre-K plan–without using the mayor’s signature tax increase.* Silver: "“We should give the mayor what he asks for"  *De Blasio Invokes Italian Theme for Bonding in Albany (NYT)

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