- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City’s pre-kindergarten program will include 4,500 half-day seats in addition to about 70,000 full-day seats.

Some Orthodox Jewish schools that provide pre-K classes under contract to the city had asked for the half-day slots. But Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has been stressing full-day pre-K.

The Orthodox Union’s public policy unit said Wednesday it thanks de Blasio for making 4,500 half-day seats available.

But the group said it had concerns about the timing of the announcement three weeks before the start of the school year.

City Department of Education spokeswoman Devora Kaye said Thursday the city is continuing a “modest” half-day pre-K program. But she said city officials urge parents to consider full-day pre-K.

Universal pre-K was de Blasio’s signature issue when he ran for mayor in 2013.

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