Rep. Maloney Applauds New State Law Requiring All Five-Year-Olds in New York City to Receive Kindergarten Education
(Long Island City, NY) Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joined New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Michael Gianaris, State Assembly Member Catherine Nolan, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and Principal Randy Seabrook on a tour of P.S. 111 (the Jacob Blackwell School) in Queens to applaud newly enacted state legislation requiring all five-year-olds in New York City to attend kindergarten. Before the advent of the new law, kindergarten was not mandatory in New York City. Governor Cuomo signed the legislation into law in July, 2012 and its requirements will take effect in July, 2013.
“A vast body of research shows that high quality early education improves a child’s life, increasing a child’s future chances, strengthening the economy, and contributing to the community,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents the neighborhood in which P.S. 111 is located. “It is the biggest bang for taxpayer bucks we can buy. I applaud Assemblywoman Nolan and Senator Gianaris for working so hard to pass this bill, as well as Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation into law. It will make a huge difference in the lives of our city’s children.”
P.S.111 is dedicated to raising the standards of academic achievements for all its students. By establishing rigorous standards-driven instruction, implementing differentiated learning, and setting high expectations, P.S. 111 creates a community of socially conscious, lifelong learners who are prepared to make their mark on the world.
Reports have shown that some of the City's most vulnerable children (including English language learners, children with special needs and foster children) have been turned away by kindergarten institutions due to lack of space, which has been permitted because of the lack of a mandate. As a result, some of the city's neediest children have not been getting the early start on their education that they need for success. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 New York City children do not attend kindergarten. The new law is meant to address their needs.
At a 2007 hearing on education investments before the U.S. Joint Economic Committee, on which Congressman Maloney currently serves and which she previously chaired, several experts testified that $17 is saved for every $1 that is invested. As Congresswoman Maloney noted at the hearing, “Estimates show that the return on investing in early care and education is between 7 to 18 percent annually. If this were a stock, all of Wall Street would be buying.”