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Pre-k Funding Is Set, But Now Comes The Hard Part

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was successful in securing $300 million in funding for free full-day prekindergarten for tens of thousands more children. Now comes the hard part.

The de Blasio administration has proposed increasing the number of full-day prekindergarten seats from less than 20,000 now to more than 53,000 in September—an ambitious goal that education experts have said is faster than other governments have done their expansions. The number of full-day seats would grow to 73,000 by September 2015.

Mr. de Blasio’s education chief, Chancellor Carmen Fariña, will also have to oversee an expansion of the city’s afterschool programs for middle school students, another plank in the mayor’s education agenda.

However, Mr. de Blasio failed to secure dedicated money for afterschool programs in the state budget, as he did for pre-K. The mayor had estimated that his afterschool program plan needed $190 million.