BUFFALO/ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A new poll shows that most New York residents favor state-funded pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-olds, and are willing to pay higher taxes for it.
But New Yorkers are about evenly split on whether the new Common Core learning standards that have changed what students learn and when they learn it will help them after graduation.
The Siena Research Institute conducted the poll last week and released results Tuesday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.
Results show 71 percent of respondents support using state tax dollars for universal pre-K, something Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed, compared to 26 percent who are opposed. More than half - 54 percent - of people say they're willing to pay more taxes for pre-K, while 43 percent say no.
The state Legislature's most powerful Democrat says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to fund citywide pre-kindergarten with a tax increase is not off the table as lawmakers negotiate a budget.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says Tuesday that neither de Blasio's plan nor Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan has been ruled out for the state budget due April 1. Cuomo wants to pay for pre-K statewide with exiting state funds instead of raising a tax.
The Senate's Republican leader, Dean Skelos, appeared to shut the door this month on taking up a bill that would allow New York City to pay for pre-K with higher taxes on the wealthy. Silver says that stance was unacceptable.
Silver said he was open to different funding solutions.