NEW YORK – Two days before the start of school, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration announced it's shuttering nine pre-kindergarten centers and delaying the start dates of 36 others.
Administration officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that safety concerns are behind the decision to revoke permits at the nine sites, which were to serve 265 students. The students will be reassigned to other centers.
Officials expect the 36 sites that won't open on the first day of school Thursday could be ready to open next week.
The expansion of the preschool program from 20,000 to 53,000 in a single year is the centerpiece of de Blasio's first year in office.
But officials say it's imperative the city only allow sites to open if health and safety can be assured.