Prayer break for NYC pre-K students proposed as enrollment begins

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW YORK (AP) — The leader of a group that champions the separation of church and state says a plan to permit a midday prayer break in some publicly funded New York City prekindergarten classes is "asking for a lawsuit."

The controversy comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio aims to expand his signature initiative to offer full-day pre-K classes for every 4-year-old. The plan depends in part on the participation of Jewish, Christian and Muslim schools.

Starting next September, pre-K classes will be permitted to break in the middle of the day for "non-program" activities such as prayer.

Additionally, schools will be invited to operate six days a week in order to meet the minimum number of classroom hours.

Civil liberties groups say the prayer break in a publicly funded classroom may violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

As the mayor and advocacy groups wrangle over the legality of mid-day prayer breaks, parents in the five boroughs are able Monday to enroll their students in pre-K.

A spokesperson for the mayor's offfice said for the first time there will be a seat for every 4-year-old whose family wants one.

To send in your pre-K enrollment application, visit here.

AlertMe
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.