Education Commissioner John King pegged the annual cost of statewide universal pre-Kindergarten on Tuesday at $1.6 billion, a figure he said will need to be considered when lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo negotiate the budget.

“If you want to get to true universality you’re probably talking on the order of about $1.6 billion a year,” King said in an interview after testifying before the joint Assembly-Senate budget hearing on education spending. “The question the governor and the Legislature will need to focus on over the next few weeks is what’s an appropriate plan for a ramp up.”

Cuomo in his 2014-15 budget proposal recommended a $1.5 billion universal pre-K plan that would be phased in over five years.

This year’s budget would set aside $100 million and target high-needs districts for pre-K.

The plan comes after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a city-wide universal pre-Kindergarten plan that would be paid for by taxing those earning $500,000 and more, costing $340 million annually.

De Blasio in Albany on Monday admitted the city’s surplus — which potentially could fund a pre-K program — would go toward public worker contracts.