NYC mayor announces plan for free preschool for 3-year-olds

NEW YORK (AP) — Free preschool for 4-year-olds was a signature issue that helped New York City’s mayor win office in 2013.

Now up for re-election, he wants to add thousands of classroom seats for 3-year-olds, too.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative could eventually enroll up to 62,000 kids.

It would be among the largest public investments in preschool in the United States for children that young.

A few states, including Florida and Oklahoma, have universal, publicly funded pre-K for 4-year-olds, but such programs for 3-year-olds are more rare.

Education advocates said the plan announced last week by the Democratic de Blasio could be a national model if it succeeds.

The mayor’s critics say he should focus on improving existing schools before adding another year to public education in the city.

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