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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo, pictured here at a recent event in Albany, are at odds over competing plans to fund pre-K programs. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/">Flickr</a>
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo, pictured here at a recent event in Albany, are at odds over competing plans to fund pre-K programs. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via Flickr

New poll intensifies universal pre-K debate

New York City might seem like a long way away, but its mayor's plan to fund universal pre-kindergarten could impact the whole state. A new poll finds that New Yorkers statewide favor Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to fund pre-kindergarten over New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's; but the discussion means more and more New Yorkers are thinking about universal pre-K.

The Quinnipiac poll finds that the majority of New Yorkers prefer Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to finance expanded pre-K through state funds than favor Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal to tax the wealthy to get the money.

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Reported by

Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

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Governor Cuomo, who does not support the plan to tax the rich, says upstate cities don't have enough wealthy residents to finance pre-K in their cities, and so using state funds is better.

"A lot of cities don't have that kind of economic base," Cuomo said. "They don't have those numbers of millionaires."

Mayor de Blasio, who stood by his plan in a budget address, took issue with the premise of the poll's question, saying it was the equivalent of asking "would you like a bowl of free candy?"

de Blasio says it is "progress" that the debate has now evolved from whether pre-K is a good idea, to how universal pre-kindergarten can happen.

In a statement, Quinnipiac said it stands by its questions: "Quinnipiac University always provides the complete wording of every question in its public opinion polls. In more than 20 years, no one has challenged the fairness of a question. Quinnipiac University stands behind its record of fairness and accuracy."

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