President John Garvey critiqued New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to push for universal prekindergarten in a Catholic News Service column. See the article below.

Mayor de Blasio's indecent proposal

From: Catholic News Service (via the Boston Globe) Date: August 19, 2014 Author: John Garvey

The new mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has recently begun a big and well-financed push for universal prekindergarten education. The mayor's goal is to offer 53,000 full-day seats by September and more than 70,000 by next year.

The problem is that the city's public schools don't have even half the seats they need. The effort is going to require a lot of help from private schools.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. A public-private partnership could have a lot of potential. The Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn have offered 1,700 new seats. The New York Times reports that Orthodox Jewish schools educate some 8,000 4-year-olds. The city proposes to pay participating schools a tuition of $10,000 per student.

But here's the rub: The city has issued rules about how religious schools must conduct their business if they want to participate. The rules are stringent enough that they would definitely change the way parochial schools and yeshivas are run.

For example, unless it is impracticable, schools would be required to remove or cover up religious signs, names and symbols at the school entrance, and also in classrooms and other areas where the pre-K students are taught.


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