Is ‘3-K for All’ Good for All? De Blasio’s Preschool Plan Troubles Some
James Matison runs five Brooklyn preschools for low-income children that get most of their money from New York City. But when he heard that Mayor Bill de Blasio was about to announce a plan to offer free preschool to every 3-year-old in the city, his response was not enthusiasm, but concern.
“No one who runs a community-based organization has said, ‘Oh, that’s great news,’” Mr. Matison said of the initiative, which Mr. de Blasio labeled “3-K for All” when he announced it at a news conference in the Bronx last month.
For Mr. Matison, the executive director of the nonprofit Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, the issue is teachers. Since the mayor created 13,000 seats for 4-year-olds in public schools and city-run prekindergarten centers, Mr. Matison has seen more than half of his lead teachers leave. The city’s Education Department offers higher salaries than he can, in some cases tens of thousands of dollars more, and summers off, while his program operates year-round.