City Comptroller Scott Stringer said Wednesday that New York City is far behind schedule in submitting contracts with pre-kindergarten providers, which he says raises possible safety problems with some of the sites slated to be used for Mayor Bill de Blasio's signature program.
Mr. Stringer said that only 141 of more than 500 contracts have been submitted to his office even though school starts in just eight days for 50,000 students in the city's significantly expanded pre-K program. He said failure to provide those contracts to his office—which is required to review all city contracts—is preventing his team from doing safety checks.
"It is risky to be launching a program like this without the proper review," said Mr. Stringer in an interview. "Not getting the contracts means we can't do our due diligence."
"We can't sacrifice safety for expediency," he said.
Officials in the comptroller's office said they have found serious safety issues with a few of the vendors whose contracts they have inspected, including one which employed a staffer who had been charged with conspiracy to commit child pornography.
The sites that do not have approved contracts will still open Sept. 4 even if the paperwork has yet to be submitted by then to the comptroller.