Advocates for early childhood education say the state can afford universal, full-day pre-k for three- and four-year olds.
Nancy Kolben with the Center for Children's Initiatives says preschool saves money by reducing the number of students falling behind later. She says $3 is saved for every $7 spent on this kind of pre-school investment.
The plan would be phased-in over eight years, and would immediately reach four-year-olds in high-needs districts -- such as Rochester -- with $225 million in state funding in the first year.
Michael Rebell with the Campaign for Educational Equity at Columbia University says the funding formula would be much like it is for public schools, with affluent districts paying more.
Attendance would not be compulsory, but Rebell says parents would be interested in enrolling their children in quality programs.