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Higher State Taxes, Federal Stimulus To Fund Expanded Pre-K On Long Island

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A flood of new school money from higher state taxation and federal stimulus funding is coming to Long Island. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

- A flood of new school money from higher state taxation and federal stimulus funding is coming to Long Island. It will immediately pay to expand pre-K, and could possibly lower school property taxes next year. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan has more from West Hempstead.

JENNIFER McLOGAN: Michelle Thomas of West Hempstead wonders why New York City has universal prekindergarten and she has to shell out $1,000 a week for full day pre-K here.

MICHELLE THOMAS: A working class, middle class town. And, you know, to have to pay for preschool is not exactly easy.

JENNIFER McLOGAN: Oroma Reynolds knows her four-year-old would thrive with a headstart.

OROMA REYNOLDS: For me as a mom, I would love to see Riley in the program. Really, getting that exposure to academic learning and the structure of being in a school environment.

JENNIFER McLOGAN: They're among relieved parents learning state aid to pre-K across Long Island is getting a 13% financial bump, and will be able to serve 5,200 new preschoolers Island-wide.

TOD KAMINSKY: We know that for working families not having to choose between missing a shift and-- and watching their children is a choice they should not have to make in the 21st century. And so providing this funding to Long Island schools matter so much.

DANIEL REHMAN: Here in West Hempstead, over 50% of our students who enter our doors on Chestnut Street do not attend preschool. So this is a great opportunity.

JENNIFER McLOGAN: With a massive federal stimulus package in billions now in state school financial aid, folks here are talking taxes. Many homeowners argue school districts should cancel planned property tax increases this year. Look to lower them next year and become more transparent.

SHELLEY MAYER: We are going to move towards less reliance on property tax, and more of the government side of funding. And that's the goal. And hopefully, some people do it right now and lessen the property tax burden on Long Island taxpayers.

JENNIFER McLOGAN: The mantra from parents, raise up schools, lower property taxes. On Long Island, Jennifer McLogan CBS2 News.