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Mayor de Blasio Announces Unprecedented Recruitment and Training for High Quality pre-K Teachers in Preparation for Expansion

March 25, 2014

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$6.7 million partnership with CUNY will invest in New York City’s workforce by training and certifying 400 teachers for new pre-K classrooms

City projects recruitment pool and professional pipelines at up to 8,000 teachers, far above the 1,000 needed this September

Teacher recruitment open at

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today released a report on the city’s preparations to recruit and train high quality teachers as part of the expansion of full-day pre-kindergarten. The Department of Education projects it will need up to 1,000 new quality lead teachers this September to instruct 53,600 children, with another 1,000 teachers needed the following year for full implementation. Today’s report places the expected pool of qualified and interested applicants at up to 8,000 teachers.

As part of the plan to recruit, train and retain the best teachers, Mayor de Blasio also announced a groundbreaking $6.7 million partnership with the City University of New York and its Early Childhood Professional Development Institute to help 400 New Yorkers secure their certification to teach pre-K. All pre-K teachers—in public schools and community-based organizations—must hold a Bachelor’s degree and, ultimately, earn a valid early childhood state certification and a Master’s degree. The city is making an unprecedented investment in the local workforce by directly assisting New Yorkers—including people from community-based organizations—pursuing a career in early education.

Already, applications from teachers with certification to teach pre-K are up 55 percent over this time last year. To further deepen that pool, the Department of Education is also undertaking a national recruitment effort to attract high quality talent from across the country, with applications open at Combined with added professional development investments to help teachers grow, the city will ensure every classroom has an excellent teacher at the helm this fall.

“No single factor is more important to starting a child’s education right than ensuring that child has an excellent teacher. I have seen what a difference it can make firsthand with my own children. We have put in place the building blocks to make sure we have trained and qualified professionals in every single classroom,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We have the classrooms. We have the teachers. And with bipartisan consensus on delivering the resources we need to make these programs a reality, we are closer than ever to transforming the lives of thousands of children.”

“We know that a great education builds upon pre-K and is only possible with a teacher who has the knowledge, training and expertise to help our youngest excel. This partnership is an investment to ensure we have outstanding pre-K instruction across our city,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Through collaboration, our children and families benefit, and we move forward in our commitment to ensure quality in every classroom, school and program.”

“We commend Mayor Bill de Blasio on his quest to ensure that every 4-year-old child has access to a high quality pre-kindergarten experience. The City University of New York (CUNY) has a longstanding commitment to serving the New York City public schools. With the involvement of CUNY colleges and The Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, we look forward to supporting the preparation of early childhood teachers in order to implement this vitally important initiative,” said Interim CUNY Chancellor William P. Kelly.

The DOE will hold recruiting events throughout the city with particular emphasis on areas of the city with a high number of new classrooms, and will launch a “Teach NYC Pre-K” subway advertising campaign this spring.

Read the report:

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