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Speaker Christine Quinn to push for mandatory kindergarten

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Credit: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. (Getty Images)

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is expected to announce a plan to require all 5-year-olds to attend kindergarten in her State of the City address at noon Tuesday.

At least 3,000 children in the city "don't enroll in kindergarten," said Quinn, with children in "high-need communities" disproportionately affected. Quinn's office believes she has the backing required to pass the plan in Albany.

New Yorkers can also expect Quinn to highlight the accomplishments of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and "reel them back to her to bolster her mayoral election chances," predicted Jamie Chandler, a political science professor at Hunter College.

Quinn will probably also highlight the city's need for more growth, particularly on Manhattan's West Side, but frame the topic so as not to further antagonize constituents alarmed by increasing gentrification, said Chandler.

"She'll sell it as a job creating activity, and perhaps as a needed improvement to the city's infrastructure," he predicted.

She will also propose starting a loan program to cover up to half of all childcare costs for families making between $40,452 and $11,750.

New Yorkers can also expect Quinn to highlight the accomplishments of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and "reel them back to her to bolster her mayoral election chances," predicted Jamie Chandler, a political science professor at Hunter College.

Quinn will probably also highlight the city's need for more growth, particularly on Manhattan's West Side, but frame the topic so as not to further antagonize constituents alarmed by increasing gentrification, said Chandler. "She'll sell it as a job creating activity, and perhaps as a needed improvement to the city's infrastructure," he predicted.

Quinn may also emphasize her role in working with state officials to bring about passage of the Empire State's same sex marriage bill in June, making New York the sixth and largest state to give gay men and lesbians the right to marry, Chandler noted.

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