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De Blasio’s first budget kicks in aid for after-school programs and arts education

Having secured state pre-K funds and settled the teachers contract, Mayor Bill de Blasio is now turning his attention to funding after-school programs and boosting arts education.

In his first executive budget presentation on Thursday, de Blasio announced a $73.9 billion spending plan that he said was built with an eye on schools and improving educational opportunities for the city’s highest-need students and their families.

In addition to allocating $300 million to add more than 30,000 full-day seats, as expected, de Blasio also plans to spend $145 million to fund 34,000 new seats for after-school programs for middle schoolers, a less- emphasized part of his effort to expand social services for needy students.

The allocation is less than the $190 million that de Blasio initially planned for when he lobbied to increase the city’s income tax to fund the after-school and pre-K programs. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republican lawmakers rejected that proposal and instead offered to fund the programs through the state.

Read the full story on Chalkbeat NY.