NYC vows to pay pre-K providers after lengthy delays

NYC vows to pay pre-K providers after lengthy delays

Facing a mounting crisis of delayed payments that have left some preschool providers hurtling toward insolvency, top education department officials vowed on Thursday to clear the backlog and pay providers on time.

In the next two weeks, officials said they are spinning up “rapid response” teams to individually work with the community organizations that operate the bulk of the city’s free preschool programs.

The goal is to swiftly clear $140 million in back payments to providers from the fiscal year that ended in June. All but $20 million of that money is connected to some 4,000 invoices that have not been submitted, officials said. The teams will meet with providers on site or virtually, a move that schools Chancellor David Banks said would help create a clear line of help.

“Underlying these challenges is a lack of infrastructure here at the DOE that failed to even give the providers the support that they needed,” Banks said at a press conference. Officials vowed to process invoices within 30 days of receiving them going forward. An education department spokesperson did not provide a total figure for outstanding payments to date.

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