On February 11, Experts Will Testify Before Joint Hearing of Education and Women’s Issues Committees

City Hall, NY- City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced today that on February 11, the City Council’s Education Committee (Chaired by Council Member Danny Dromm) and the Committee on Women’s Issues (Chaired by Council Member Laurie Cumbo) will hold a joint hearing on Res. 0002-2014, which supports the de Blasio administration’s universal pre-K and expanded after-school plan. Experts from several fields including education and early childhood development are expected to discuss their views of the plan, as well as take questions from Council Members.

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said: “The Council is looking forward to hearing expert testimony on the administration’s pre-K and expanded after-school plan. Study after study has shown that pre-K is vital to a child’s development so it’s essential that New York City delivers this important need for our all of our children. This hearing will examine why it’s crucial that universal pre-K and expanded after-school becomes a reality in New York City.”

“I am pleased to have worked closely with Speaker Mark-Viverito to introduce a Council resolution in support of the Mayor’s plan for universal pre-Kindergarten,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “Mayor de Blasio has outlined a reasonable approach on how to secure that funding and I stand firmly committed to his goals. Study after study has shown that children who receive an early childhood education perform demonstrably better later in life than those who don’t receive it. Also, as a former director of a preschool for six years and as a former NYC public school teacher for 25 years, I saw firsthand how educating children at an early age has a huge impact throughout their lives.”

Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo said: “The time is now to act responsibly towards New York City’s future – our children. In November, the voters mandated the expansion of Universal Pre-Kindergarten, and Mayor de Blasio dutifully responded to the call with quick action. The Council’s hearing on UPK will be another bold step on the road to fully educating our students.”

“From growing academic and educational consensus, it is apparent that early childhood education is crucial to success later in school, employment, and life,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras. “I applaud Speaker Mark-Viverito and Councilman Dromm for holding a hearing on this pivotal issue. It is my hope that through this hearing, the benefits of Universal Pre-kindergarten will continue to be made clear to all New Yorkers.”

“The wheels are turning on NYC’s Universal Pre-K plan and we’re going to hear all about why Mayor de Blasio’s plan with a dedicated funding stream, will best benefit the children of our city,” said Council Member Rodriguez. “The overwhelming benefits of Universal Pre-K are clear and widely recognized and it’s now time to put this plan in motion. We must be sure that starting September of this year, every one of our city’s 4 year-olds has a seat in a quality pre-K program that is adequately funded and ready to best prepare them for college and beyond.”

“When it comes to access to high-quality pre-k and after-school programs, the children and working families of our city can’t wait. New York City has a clear way forward to fully fund these critical programs, and put our children on a path to success. We need Albany to let us do it,” said Council Member Inez Dickens.