Public Notices and Press Releases

New Jersey Expands Access to High-Quality Preschool Education

Statewide Initiative Promises Enhanced Early Childhood Learning Opportunities for Over 800 More Children

In a significant step towards enhancing early childhood education, New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy, alongside Acting Commissioner of Education Kevin Dehmer, announced an expansion of the state's preschool program. 

This initiative, detailed during their visit to Millridge School in Secaucus, aims to provide 827 additional children access to high-quality, full-day preschool education through a new round of Preschool Education Aid (PEA) for the Fiscal Year 2024. 

This move is part of the administration's ongoing effort to make universal preschool a reality across the state, emphasizing the crucial role of early education in a child's long-term academic and social development.

The funding, amounting to an additional $11,156,130, targets 16 school districts, enabling them to initiate or extend their preschool offerings. 

These programs are distinguished by their full-day schedules, certified teaching staff, limited class sizes, curriculum aligned with the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards, and inclusivity of special needs children. 

This approach reflects the state's commitment to laying a solid foundation for young learners, recognizing the transformative potential of early education on student outcomes across their academic careers.

A list of the 16 additional 2023-2024 school districts receiving PEA funding for preschool programs:

Since Governor Murphy took office the administration has substantially increased preschool funding by over $427 million, adding more than 14,600 preschool seats in various school districts. This effort is part of a broader campaign to provide every three- and four-year-old in New Jersey with free, full-day preschool access. 

Looking forward, the Governor's FY2025 budget proposes an additional $124 million for preschool education, which includes $20 million to expand high-quality programs into new districts.

Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli expressed gratitude for the Pre-K Expansion Aid, highlighting the anticipated positive impacts on the local school system and the developmental benefits for children.

Erick Alfonso, Ed.D., M.B.A., Superintendent of Secaucus Public Schools, echoed this sentiment, underscoring the initiative as a pivotal moment for the community and a commitment to ensuring every family in Secaucus has access to premium pre-kindergarten programs.

This expansion is not just an investment in education; it represents a strategic move towards inclusivity and equity, aiming to provide every child in New Jersey with the tools and resources necessary for a successful educational journey. 

The listed school districts receiving the PEA funding for the 2023-2024 school year span several counties, indicating a widespread effort to improve early childhood education across the state.

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