New Yorkers push for pre-k funding!

Mayor DeBlasio and a growing number of upper-income New Yorkers recognize that universal pre-K is one of the best investments we can make in our future.  Each $1 invested in pre-K results in $17 of future savings in public spending on special education, social programs and incarceration.  By imposing a modest half percent tax on NYC income above $500,000, the City can guarantee a steady stream of pre-K funding and close the achievement gap between upper- and lower-income kids.  All that potentially stands in the way is approval of the Mayor's plan by the New York State governor and legislature in Albany.

Do you have New York City income of over $500,000?  If so, we hope you will sign this letter to Gov. Cuomo and the legislature in support of Mayor DeBlasio's universal pre-K proposal.  If you don't have that level of income, you can still sign below in support of the letter.

The letter:

Dear Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders:

We are upper-income New York City residents who support Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise a small tax on the wealthiest among us to fund an expansion of early childhood education and after-school programs. We believe this plan is a sound investment in the long-term economic success of our city.

This tax is not only fair, but is necessary to create the level of dedicated funding required to make a real commitment to expanding high-quality Pre-K programs and reach more children. New York State first committed to the goal of universal pre-k in the late 1990s, but without adequate funding, there has not been enough progress on making programs truly universal, and pre-k funds have been subject to cutbacks in bad economic times.

The return on investment in high-quality pre-kindergarten and after-school programs is unparalleled; a 2010 report from the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce found a savings of up to $17 for every $1 invested in pre-k. Ensuring that children are prepared to start school and succeed once they get there not only improves their chances of attending college and earning higher wages, but reduces the need for future spending on special education, incarceration, and public benefits. This benefits us all.

Investing in pre-k and after-school programs is a benefit to all residents of New York City, and more than makes up for the costs. With a modest half-percent tax on those making more than $500,000 per year, we can make huge strides toward leveling the playing field for children by closing the achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers.

We firmly believe Mayor de Blasio’s plan is the best way to ensure economic prosperity for our city, both now and in the future. We are willing to do our part, and hope you will do yours. We respectfully urge you to support this fiscally sound plan, to ensure that the investment we make in our children has a solid and long-term foundation.

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