- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - The number of New York City families applying to pre-kindergarten for next fall is up 36 percent compared to last year.

The city Department of Education announced Thursday that 41,603 families have applied for public pre-K seats. That’s up from 30,544 in 2013.

The city plans to offer 53,604 pre-K seats, but only about 20,000 of them will be in public schools. The rest will be in community-based organizations such as Head Start programs.

That means that many of the families that were hoping to enroll their children a neighborhood school may end up with a seat at a community group instead.

Families that applied to pre-K programs will receive decision letters in early June.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made universal pre-K his signature issue during his campaign last year.

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