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Governor Cuomo's plan to institute Pre-K programs in schools across the state isn't sitting well with everyone. As our Meredith Zaritheny reports, both superintendents and daycare providers are concerned about what the proposal could mean for them.
MIDDLETOWN N.Y.-- "The State will be proud to pay for it. Its a priority we believe in children, we believe in pre-k, we believe in education let’s put our money where our mouth is and make it a reality, said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
As a pre-k teacher putting children first is part of Azure Lewis' job, but now with Governor Cuomo's plan to offer universal pre-k in schools statewide, it might just cost her the one thing she loves the most.
"It would potentially end my job because I'm the U P-K teacher here," said Azure Lewis, Middletown Day Nursery Day Care Center Universal Pre-K Lead Teacher.
Part of the plan would move current pre-k programs away from sub-contractors like Middletown Day Nursery Day Care Center, and back into the school district. Something the Superintendent of Middletown School District says is just not feasible.
"If you want to obtain the funds at this point in time it has to be inside the schools. And most superintendents I've talked to do not have the room for it they also do not have the money to build anything," said Dr. Ken Eastwood, Middletown Enlarged City School District Superintendent.
The plan would cost more than $2 billion, $1.5 for a five-year phase in of pre-k instruction statewide. Dr. Eastwood says he would prefer to keep subcontracting out the work.
"We would like to continue that model and we think it’s the most successful it's financially the most cost effective way of doing pre-k," said Dr. Eastwood.
Lewis says she supports doing more for early education, but the impact on teachers and their jobs concerns her.
"It's great that they want to extend the day and make it available to all children, but pulling it out of all these sites would end all these jobs," said Lewis.
The legislature has until the end of march to pass a budget, meaning there could still be changes made to the Governor's Universal Pre-K plan.