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Make kindergarten a must for all NYC students, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says

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  • Leonie Haimson
    Great idea; but are there seats for them? As noted below, thousands of kindergarten kids were wait listed for their neighborhood schls last year. Make
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 9, 2012

      Great idea; but are there seats for them? As noted below, thousands of kindergarten kids were wait listed for their neighborhood schls last year.

      Make kindergarten a must for all NYC students, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says

      Current law lets kids stay home till they're 6, but education pros say that leaves the neediest behind

      Comments (1)

      By Rachel Monahan AND Reuven Blau / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

      Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 11:17 PM
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      Description: NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04:  Christine C. Quinn attends the 2011 GLAAD Amplifier Awards at the Altman Building on October 4, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)

      John Lamparski/WireImage

      City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will make push in her State of the City speech today for mandatory kindergarten for all New York City 5-year-olds.

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      CITY COUNCIL Speaker Christine Quinn wants every youngster to have a seat in school.

      She will propose making kindergarten mandatory for 5-year-olds in her State of the City speech on Thursday.

      Under the current law, kindergarten is not mandatory, and children can stay home until they turn 6. As a result, an estimated 3,000 city children are not enrolled.

      Education advocates say that hurts many of the neediest kids, including those with special needs and those in foster care.

      “We’re going to make sure this never happens to another family,” Quinn said in an early excerpt of her speech.

      Top state educators have long championed the move.

      In 2006, the state Board of Regents voted to lower the mandatory school age to 5 and require all districts to offer kindergarten instruction.

      Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and education advocates say that getting tots into school early is best for them.

      State lawmakers would have to approve the change, but they have previously opposed the measure due to costs.

      Quinn said the requirement wouldn’t be a drain on the city since the city Department of Education already has the infrastructure in place to handle the youngsters.

      The city has had trouble finding room for all kindergartners. Last year, more than 2,000 4- and 5-year-olds seeking seats were wait-listed.

      Parents in booming neighborhoods like lower Manhattan and upper West Side have been particularly frustrated by the lack of school space.

      Yet the issue has not garnered much public attention.

      One education insider noted that the current law affects a small number of the city’s more than 1 million public schoolkids.

      “It’s a fairly modest proposal (by Quinn). Not intended to make huge waves,” the source said. “It wasn’t on anyone’s radar screen as an issue.”

      The DOE declined to comment.

      rblau@...


      Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/kindergarten-a-nyc-students-city-council-speaker-christine-quinn-article-1.1019573#ixzz1ltQIGxp4

       

       

      Leonie Haimson

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