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New York City sees spike in number of pre-K teacher applications

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The city has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of pre-kindergarten teacher applications since New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, the Mayor's Office announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The Department of Education has received 690 applications from early education teachers since the mayor announced, the website where teachers can apply to teach pre-K, a week ago. The city is on track to meet its projection of 2,500 applications from certified pre-K teachers for the 2014-2015 school year.

"We are committed to having a top-tier teacher in every pre-K classroom come September," de Blasio said in a statement. "And we are on course to make that happen."

At least 1,400 more pre-K teachers have started the application process over the past week, the Mayor's Office added.

The city needs to add a maximum of 1,000 pre-K teachers this September and up to an additional 1,000 teachers for the following school year to provide staff for new classrooms as part of its expansion of quality, full-day pre-K.

The New York State Legislature announced on Monday night that $300 million out of $1.5 billion in the state budget devoted to statewide full-day universal pre-K would fund universal pre-K and after-school programs in New York City.