Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that an additional 28 school districts will receive state aid to implement or expand early childhood education programs in their communities by Oct. 1.

The expansion will provide preschool access to an additional 1,450 children this school year, according to the governor.

Gov. Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2020 state budget allotted an additional $20 million for preschool education aid.

The 28 school districts implementing or expanding to “high-quality” preschool programs this school year have at least 20% of their student population receiving free or reduced lunch or had been receiving partial state funding to address pockets of poverty. High-quality preschool programs are identified as transitioning to a full-day program, with a certificated teacher, an aide, small class sizes, and inclusive of children with special needs who have an individualized education program.

More information is available on the governor’s website.