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Rochester mayor testifies about universal Pre-K

Albany, N.Y.Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was among several mayors from across the state in Albany today, calling for a change in the way the state supports its municipalities.

In testimony today, Warren supported changing the formula used to determine aid and incentives to municipalities.

She also commented on the local poverty rate and Governor Cuomos proposal to provide universal Pre-K.

Part of her statement is below:

Two years ago, testimony from the City of Rochester stated more than 29% of our citys families live at or below the poverty rate. Owner-occupied housing is under 43%. The median family household income is a mere $30,000 annually and four out of five of our children are eligible for the free or reduced school lunch program. Sadly, as I sit here today to testify before you, little has changed. The City of Rochester has a significant concentration of poverty as I mentioned earlier, the fifth highest in the entire country.

I support the Governors proposal to provide universal Pre-K to all children and the increase in funding for after school programs are excellent initiatives; and I strongly support the Governors NY Youth Works Program. Rochesters concentration of poverty is among the highest in the nation. 46% of our children live below the federally established poverty line, and some areas of our city suffer from rates of unemployment that are greater than they were during the Great Depression. Governor Cuomo and I recognize that the effects of chronic poverty are devastating to our children. The NY Youth Works Program is laser-focused on exactly the sort of assistance that Rochester needs to start on the long road to restoring prosperity and restoring hope. Funding for youth jobs will offer life-altering opportunities for Rochesters youth.

You can read her complete statement here.

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Washington Times