Toddlers in 33,131 families across New York City will get offers to join 3-K for All programs, the Department of Education announced Wednesday, June 30.
Out of the 33,208 New York City families that applied for a 3-K for All seat, 92% were given an offer and 76% of those families were offered one of their top three programs. More than 15,500 more families were offered a seat this year compared to last year, according to DOE data, following a major expansion in the program.
In March, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter announced the City would add 16,500 free, full-day 3-K for All seats and expand the program to all city school districts this fall. Prior to the expansion, 16 out of the city’s 32 school districts did not offer a single 3-K for All program.
“By expanding 3-K to every district across our city, we’re bringing a record number of families access to a free, high-quality, early education for their child. As we build a recovery for us all, 3-K and Pre-K will continue to lead the way in supporting New York City’s children and working families,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.
Offers are being sent out to families as education advocates continue to press city officials to expand special education seats for preschoolers across the five boroughs. About 1,200 3- and 4-year-olds with disabilities were left waiting for a special education seat last year, according to a recent analysis from Advocates for Children.
Offers are also being sent out as the mayor and New York City Council finalized a $98.7 city budget for 2022 which includes increased spending on special education to take effect in 2023.
“We appreciate that the budget includes a new investment in preschool special education,” said Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children of New York. “But, with 1,200 children waiting for seats in legally mandated preschool special education classes as of the end of the last school year, we are disappointed that the budget does not include funding to address the shortage of preschool special education classes until Fiscal Year 23 and does not extend salary parity to teachers of preschool special education classes even in FY 23. 3-K and pre-K will never be “for all” until the city addresses the shortage of preschool special education classes.”