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De Blasio in Albany to sell Cuomo, others on pre-K plan

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, seen

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, seen at a Feb. 28, 2014 news conference, is planning to meet with several legislative leaders about his prekindergarten plan. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Mayor Bill de Blasio will meet Tuesday in Albany with several state lawmakers, including Republican State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, an opponent of his plan to raise taxes on New York City's rich to fund universal prekindergarten and after-school programs.

The mayor's office said Monday he also has meetings slated with supporters of his tax plan: Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx), Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

De Blasio said Monday he could convince skeptics in the State Legislature with the implementation plans his team has produced. A report from his office says the city could provide after-school programs to 120,000 students with a $190 million expansion. "The more details we put out, the more support we're going to garner for this," de Blasio said at City Hall.

The mayor said he hoped to speak Tuesday with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat who opposes his tax plan and has proposed funding statewide universal pre-K with a state budget surplus. A spokesman for Skelos, of Rockville Centre, confirmed Skelos would meet today with de Blasio. Skelos said Monday the mayor's proposal to raise a city income tax to pay for universal pre-K is off the table.

De Blasio will speak at Washington Armory with backers of his universal pre-K plan. A pro-charter school rally will be held at the state Capitol defending the taxpayer-funded, privately run institutions that de Blasio says divert resources public schools.

Success Academy Charter Schools chief executive Eva Moskowitz, whom de Blasio has criticized, said in a letter to de Blasio that she was not going to Albany to oppose pre-K. "We are going to march in favor of good educational opportunities for ALL children," she wrote. With Michael Gormley

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