Everyone knows that getting into private preschool in New York City can be absurdly cutthroat and wildly expensive, but getting into public pre-K is not any easier, reports the New York Times. For the current school year, there were 28,817 applicants for 19,834 slots in the city’s public pre-K programs. Those numbers do not tell the entire story. The school on our street had 432 applicants—for 36 seats. With 12 children fighting for each slot, lots of families shared our predicament. For parents like us, options are limited. Private pre-K can run more than $30,000 a year at the fanciest schools. Depending on the neighborhood, spaces with community-based organizations—private preschools that partner with the state and accept state subsidies but handle their own applications—can be as elusive as public pre-K spots. If home schooling is daunting, and if not schooling feels wrong, the only other choice, it seems, is to join the many parents who have taken matters into their own hands and formed co-ops…

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staff and wire services reports