Pre-K Musical Chairs

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reporter Pamela Wheaton of offers advice for parents wanting to get their children into a scarce public pre-kindergarten program.


Pamela Wheaton

Comments [9]

Pamela Wheaton from

Kindergarten is not mandatory but it is guaranteed. Chancellor's Regulation A-101 stipulates this. "Children whose fifth birthday falls within the calendar year of admission must be admitted to kindergarten whether these children are entering school for the first time or being transferred from another school, if their parents choose to register them." This does not mean you are guaranteed a seat in your zoned school (if it is overcrowded and there is no space available), but you are guaranteed a seat somewhere. Schools are known to turn parents away, telling them they don't have to enroll their child until 1st grade, but parents should realize they have a right to a seat.If you are turned away for lack of space, you can go to an enrollment office to ask for another school placement.

Mar. 22 2011 11:36 AM
Ellen Lubell from Park Slope, Brooklyn

I was distressed to hear your pre-K discussion on the air and even more unhappy to read posted comments that question the value of pre-K in the first place.
The research that demonstrates that good quality early childhood education (pre-K, Head Start, nursery school, etc) plays a huge role in the academic and out-of-school success of children is long established and well known. Children who have had good quality early childhood education are more likely to stay in school and become productive adults and are less likely to commit crimes when older. It's hard to believe that early childhood slots have become victims of budget-cutting (again) when providing this education would go a long way to reducing higher ameliorative costs later. Q
Will the universal pre-K mandate ever become fully funded?

Mar. 22 2011 11:24 AM
Loren Levinson from Brooklyn, NY

Your guest is incorrect, kindergarten is not mandatory, if you live in a frozen zone and are not zoned for an elementary school the Board of Ed does not find a place for your child until 1st grade.

Mar. 22 2011 10:57 AM
steve from Metro NYC

Why is WNYC fixated on this topic of Pre-K "education"? Have you been to a Pre-K class recently? I have. Half the kids are sleeping and the other half are doing what kids this age normally do -- anything they want. I don't care what you or they say -- it's semi-organized baby sitting. And thank God for it.

Mar. 22 2011 10:55 AM
matthew from brooklyn

K is not guaranteed

Mar. 22 2011 10:55 AM
Ames from Upper West Side

When my child was in public pre-K last year (on the Upper West Side) , I was actually surprised to find that it was not so competitive. Few people from the catchment applied and it seemed like half the class was from outside the district.

Mar. 22 2011 10:54 AM
matthew from brooklyn


Mar. 22 2011 10:54 AM
Jeffrey from New York, New York

Why are there "public" pre-kindergarten classes? I never went to preschool. I turned out o.k. I'm a lawyer.

Mar. 22 2011 10:48 AM

are such programs scarce because we have the lowest taxes in the G7?
we also have near lowest rank in math, reading, and science skills.

Mar. 22 2011 08:52 AM

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