City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is proposing mandatory kindergarten for all New York City five-year-olds, her office said ahead of her state of the city speech Thursday.
Kindergarten is not required in New York City, and according to Quinn's office, nearly 3,000 children do not attend.
“That means thousands of kids enter first grade every year having never set foot in a classroom," Quinn said in prepared remarks released Wednesday. "We’re going to make sure this never happens to another family."
High-need communities like foster children, children with special needs and children learning English are the most affected by a lack of early education, her office says.
Quinn's proposal requires state legislation. A spokesman says she has state sponsors for the bill.