- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Mayor Bill de Blasio is releasing a report that says New York is ready to accommodate universal pre-kindergarten this fall.

Critics have wondered whether the city would be able to find enough space for the proposed expansion in September.

De Blasio said Tuesday that schools and community-based groups have combined to come up with space to accommodate 29,000 new students.

That would allow him to meet his goal of 53,000 seats for this fall. Another 20,000 students would be accommodated the following year.

De Blasio made universal pre-kindergarten the centerpiece of his first year in office. He wants to pay for it by raising taxes on wealthy New Yorkers but needs approval from Albany.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to pay for pre-k with existing funds in the state budget.

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