Governor Andrew Cuomo named a commission to look at ways to improve education.

The panel's approach to better educating students has been simple.

"Get them sooner, keep them longer and do more with them when you've got them," said Richard Parsons, commission chair.

Number one on a preliminary list of recommendations is full-day pre-kindergarten, if not for every child, at least for some.

"It's just a win-win-win all the way around if you can get kids sooner. And so our first recommendation is that we look at full day pre-kindergarten, particularly for the highest-need students," said Parsons.

Jeff-Lewis BOCES Superintendent Jay Boak says some school districts in the north country don't have any pre-k, let alone a full-day program, although they do recognize the benefits.

"Pre-k is incredibly important because those are the extremely important developmental years for students when it comes to reading and reasoning and things like that," said Boak.

It's the cost that's the problem, one that even Governor Cuomo acknowledges.

"Frankly it's also going to be a question of money," said Cuomo.

"Obviously the difficulty is in coming up with the resources to do it. But it would be, I'm sure, a welcome addition," said Boak.

The commission has seven other recommendations, including a longer school day and a longer school year. 

Governor Cuomo plans to make them part of his State of the State address, which is coming next Wednesday.


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