Gov. Phil Murphy announced a second round of funding Jan. 10 that would allocate $26.9 million to create or expand preschool education to 33 districts in the state.
The additional aid ensures 2,320 children will start the next school year in September in a high-quality preschool classroom, the governor said.
“Expanding early childhood education is among the smartest investments we can make for the future of our state,” said Murphy. “Providing children with access to high-quality education is a vital component of building a stronger and fairer New Jersey where children and families can thrive.”
Murphy announced the funding during a visit to the Woodmere Elementary School in Eatontown, which received $314,175 in state funding that will allow 30 three- and four-year-old children from Eatontown to attend preschool.
Key elements of a high-quality preschool include limited class sizes of 15 children who are taught by a certified teacher and an aide; a transition to full-day programs; and inclusion of special-needs children with an individualized education program.
This second round of Preschool Education Expansion Aid (PEEA) funding follows an announcement made by Murphy in September 2018 that allocated $20.6 million to expand existing preschool programs for more than 2,000 children in another 31 school districts.
The state budget includes $83 million under the PEEA program. Murphy promised during his campaign for governor that he would provide every 3- and 4-year-old in New Jersey with access to a high-quality preschool program. The funding will go to expand and create half- and full-day pre-K for students in districts that currently don’t receive any state funding for their programs.
The governor’s office released the chart below, showing which districts will receive funds:
|County||District||Preschool Education Expansion Aid Funding|
|Burlington||Maple Shade||$1.2 million|
|Burlington||North Hanover||$1.8 million|
|Cape May||Ocean City||$257,040|
|Gloucester||West Deptford||$1.2 million|
|Union||Union Township||$2.3 million|