Not only does Public Advocate and Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio want more pre-K, he’d also like to see a major expansion of after-school programs citywide. Yesterday he stopped by PS 152 on East 23rd Street to tour one of the Flatbush Development Corporation’s after-school programs, known as “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds,” and make a push for more just like it.
“The FDC has done a superb job with Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds,” said de Blasio. “Imagine the difference after-school programs like this one make for kids who would otherwise be home alone after school. This program is like home away from home, and parents are more at ease knowing their child is safe and out of trouble. This is exactly why we need more of these programs throughout the city.”
After-school programs seem to be one of those things, like firehouses and libraries, that are on the chopping block of the city budget year after year. The annual budget dance, of which some are growing quite tired, is starting up again, and this should be a major topic for all the mayoral candidates over the next couple months.
For his part, de Blasio’s got a plan that includes extending learning time after the school day ends by awarding school-based grants to build out additional learning periods after school, using community-based organizations to supplement the curriculum. And like the pre-K plan, getting the money to pay for that would involve taxing people making more than $500,000 per year.