In 2013, thirty public schools in New York City only accepted students into pre-K programs if they had a sibling already enrolled. This gave those children priority over others, and made an already competitive market even more aggressive.  The application deadline for pre-K enrollment is today, and the cutting of programs and stricter application rules are making an already desirable enrollment even more difficult to achieve.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had claimed victory for New York school districts as Albany lawmakers settled a state budget last month that included $300 million per year for the next five years for universal pre-kindergarten programs. But with the fact that some children might still be denied entry, some parents wonder why the term ‘universal’ is used for such an agenda.

The most popular school districts in New York City, Manhattan’s District 2 and Brooklyn’s District 15, are finding themselves facing severe overcrowding and cuts are already being made to pre-K programs to make room for older student programs, despite the promise of an injection of funds.

The desirability of the areas is nothing new, but in the last few years they have seen extreme restoration projects crop up, restoring communities and increasing appeal. The Battery Park City Authority, advised by board members such as Carl Mattone and Frank J. Branchini, had a budget of $35 million to update Battery Park City, renovating many areas and creating much more popularity for families coming into the area. Lower Manhattan also had seen restoration projects, leading to an influx of students in a district with too few seats for them.

The surpluses of students in these communities are due not only to the renovations of certain neighborhoods, but the quality and of their teachers and programs. Mayor de Blasio is already pushing to offer full-day pre-K to all New York City children by the fall of 2015.