By Jonathan Lemire
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is touting his administration's readiness to implement universal pre-kindergarten this fall.
The mayor announced Tuesday that the expected pool of those applying to become pre-kindergarten teachers in September should top 8,000.
That is more than the 1,000 de Blasio says the city would need to handle an expected 53,000 new students.
The city would need another 1,000 teachers the following year when the program expands further.
De Blasio's announcement comes just days before the state budget is due. Pre-kindergarten funding is a contentious portion of the debate in Albany.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he does not want to send cities predetermined amounts for pre-kindergarten. He wants to allocate the money based on a city's readiness to start a program.