Gov. Phil Murphy today announced the availability of $120 million in grants for preschool facility expansion and highlighted the funding 16 school districts recently received to establish or grow their preschool programming. The governor also announced an additional $2.6 million to assist 33 school districts with supplementary start-up funding.
“Expanding access to free, full-day preschool programs represents an investment in the future of New Jersey’s children,” said Murphy said today at the Brooks Crossing and Deans Elementary School in South Brunswick. A quality preschool education provides students with the foundational skills they need to learn and succeed as they advance through life, which is why we must – and will – continue to work towards universal pre-K throughout New Jersey.”
The $120 million in grant funding – made possible through an allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget – marks the first time that preschool facility expansion grants will be available to Regular Operating Districts (RODs).
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) will be accepting grant applications from RODs from March 1 to May 31.
Eligible proposals will be prioritized by category in the following order:
The more than $11.4 million recently allocated to 16 school districts to create or expand their preschool programming during the 2022-2023 school year has enabled the addition of 1,081 full-day, high-quality preschool seats.
The following school districts received a portion of the $11,412,493 in total funding:
In addition to the $11.4 million for the second round of preschool expansion aid this school year, an additional $2.6 million in start-up funding was made available to six of the 16 school districts that had been operating partially state-funded preschool at the start of the school year (Folsom, Little Ferry, Lawnside, Downe, South Plainfield, and Linden), as well as all 27 districts from the first round of FY23 awards announced earlier this school year, which began operating their full-day programs in October.
“Early childhood development is the very foundation upon which any effective and comprehensive education system is built. Basic skills that our children are exposed to in a solid pre-school environment are essential to their learning journey,” said Senator Zwicker. “I am proud to stand with Governor Murphy today in recognizing this signature investment in pre-K funding in South Brunswick and in other districts throughout the state. Our state will only continue to be a growth leader and meet this moment of emerging technologies if we continue to invest in our public schools, and especially in the continued expansion of our pre-K education capacities.”
Since Governor Murphy took office, preschool programs have been introduced to more than 160 school districts, opening seats for more than 12,000 additional children.
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