Capping a couple weeks of budget teasers, Mayor Mike McGinn announced today $500,000 of new early learning funding in his pending 2014 budget proposal, plus an additional $100,000 to fund development of the universal preschool plan approved by the council earlier this week.
When asked to verify that this $100,000 was in fact to fund the same plan just approved by the council, McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus confirmed: "We are working collaboratively with councilmember Burgess on this effort."
There. That wasn't so hard guys, now was it?
“Universal preschool is one of the best ways to prepare students to succeed in school and get a good start in life," the mayor said via a prepared statement. "I am also grateful to the City Council that they have embraced the concept of universal preschool and that we have been working together on this opportunity."
Wow. It's a veritable lovefest over at City Hall.
In addition to the $100,000 to fund the development of the city's universal preschool plan ($50,000 from the general fund, $50,000 from the Families & Education Levy), the mayor's 2014 budget proposal includes $500,000 in new funding for early learning programs, plus the continuation of $249,000 in funding to serve up to 15 homeless children at the Wellspring Early Learning Center. All good news.
McGinn will release his proposed 2014 budget this coming Monday, September 23, at 2 p.m. in council chambers.