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Jersey City’s $11 Million Investment in Premier Preschool Education

Jersey City News

Governor Murphy announced that $11 million in funding was allocated to increase preschool access in 16 NJ school districts, aimed at transforming early childhood education.

Key Takeaways
  • An $11 million investment has been announced to expand high-quality preschool programs in 16 New Jersey districts.
  • The investment will create 827 new preschool spots, enhancing early childhood education with full-day programs, certified staff, and inclusive curriculums.
  • The $11 million preschool funding is just the beginning, as it sets the stage for a proposed $124 million in next year’s budget.

Latest Educational Funding Initiative

On March 12, 2024, Governor Phil Murphy, alongside Acting Commissioner of Education Kevin Dehmer, made an important announcement from Millridge School in Secaucus, New Jersey.

They declared an additional $11 million in funding under the Preschool Education Aid (PEA) for Fiscal Year 2024. This funding is aimed at enabling 16 more school districts in New Jersey to either initiate or enhance high-quality preschool programs.

Breakdown of Jersey City’s $11 Million Fund

The funding will facilitate the establishment of 827 new preschool seats. This initiative, which aligns with the fiscal year 2024’s objectives, builds on previous investments, including a $25 million allocation last October that generated an additional 1,715 preschool spots across 26 districts.

These programs emphasize full-day sessions, certified teaching staff, small class sizes, and curricula that meet the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards.

Impact on Early Childhood Education

The initiative is expected to foster significant educational benefits, from advanced literacy skills to enhanced social and emotional development.

Governor Murphy emphasized that these early educational experiences are crucial as they lay the foundation for children’s future academic and social success.

Reaction & Statements from Local Leaders

Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli expressed gratitude for the inclusion of Secaucus in this initiative, recognizing the long-term benefits that high-quality preschool can bring to the community’s children.

Similarly, Erick Alfonso, Superintendent of Secaucus Public Schools, noted that this initiative lays the groundwork for expanded educational access and is a testament to the state’s commitment to its young residents.​

List of Districts and Funding Allocation

The $11 million funding will be allocated across various districts to support establishing and expanding preschool programs.

Here’s a breakdown of the funding allocation:

  • Burlington County: 
    • Cinnaminson Township ($290,280)
    • Tabernacle Township ($522,504)
  • Cape May County: Upper Township ($458,568)
  • Hudson County: Secaucus ($1,583,647)
  • Hunterdon County: 
    • Bloomsbury ($193,206)
    • Delaware Township ($341,826)
    • Holland Township ($535,032)
    • Union Township ($772,824)
  • Mercer County: 
    • Lawrence Township ($923,486)
    • Robbinsville ($2,661,014)
  • Monmouth County: Atlantic Highlands ($322,718)
  • Salem County: Oldmans Township ($171,600)
  • Sussex County: 
    • Fredon Township ($363,775)
    • Stanhope ($145,510)
  • Union County: Roselle ($934,496)
  • Warren County: Great Meadows Regional ($935,644)​​.

Next Steps in Preschool Education: $124 Million Proposal

Governor Murphy’s fiscal year 2025 budget proposal includes an additional $124 million for preschool education.

This plan includes a specific allocation of $20 million to further extend high-quality, full-day preschool programs to more school districts, reinforcing the state’s commitment to expanding this foundational educational level.

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Eleanor Vega is a distinguished education journalist with over 15 years of experience, holding a Master’s Degree in Education Policy from Columbia University. Her work focuses on educational reform, classroom technology, and equity, offering actionable insights to educators, policymakers, and the community. Eleanor's articles for the Hudson Reporter bridge education policy with real-world impacts, translating complex topics into engaging narratives. Renowned for her compelling storytelling, Eleanor is a valued educational voice, inspiring change and understanding through her reports.