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De Blasio condems loss of 30,000 after-school seats

By TRUDY TOMLINSON | 6/27/2013, 3:59 p.m. | Updated on 6/27/2013, 3:59 p.m.
Outside of City Hall, mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio and concerned parents hosted a press conference on June 25 to ...
De Blasio

Outside of City Hall, mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio and concerned parents hosted a press conference on June 25 to condemn the loss of 30,000 after-school seats since 2008. This has happened under the budgets approved by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn, they declared.

“After-school programs are widely hailed for strengthening a child’s learning in the classroom, providing positive alternatives for youths and putting young people on an overall positive path toward the future,” said De Blasio in a press release.

“These investments, along with universal pre-kindergarten for every kid in New York City, are essential to our city’s future,” De Blasio added. “That’s why I’m calling for a tax on the wealthy to pay for across-the-board after-school and pre-k for New York’s children.”

Currently the city’s public advocate, De Blasio revealed in a policy book unveiled this month his comprehensive plan for universal after-school programs and early childhood education. He plans to achieve this through a tax increase on New York City’s wealthiest residents. De Blasio says he is the only candidate for mayor with this plan.

De Blasio’s plan will temporarily increase income tax from 3.84 to 4.3 percent on New Yorkers earning over $500,000. This tax increase will generate $532 million in new revenue over the next five years.

“The fact that we have lost 30,000 out-of-school time slots over the past six years under Bloomberg and Quinn’s budgets is outrageous and must be reversed,” said de Blasio.

These numbers were calculated to reflect the loss of Out of School Time (OST) seats after Bloomberg’s budget proposal. OST is one of the largest after-school programs in New York City.