December 18, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $15 Million to Support Pre-Kindergarten Programs Statewide

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $15 Million to Support...

Funding Will Help Enroll Over 2,000 Children in High-Quality Pre-K Programs


Four High-Need School Districts to Provide Pre-Kindergarten for the First Time


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $15 million has been awarded to 26 school districts to increase access to high-quality pre-kindergarten for over 2,000 three and four year-old children across New York. This funding will also support the expansion of pre-k to high-need and underserved school districts as part of the state's ongoing effort to promote early education and improve academic outcomes for all students. 

"New York is making an unprecedented commitment to universal pre-kindergarten for children living in high-need and underserved school districts," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help ensure more children than ever before are able to attend pre-k and enjoy the proven benefits of early childhood education into adulthood."

Funding was awarded to school districts based on quality of applications and other factors such as district and student need, the state's effort to target the highest need students, and a focus on maximizing the total number of children served in pre-kindergarten programs. This additional $15 million in funding will ensure New York continues to support its youngest students by expanding pre-k into high-need districts, including those where there are currently no pre-k seats.

Since 2011, Governor Cuomo has more than doubled the state's commitment to early childhood education to improve the academic future of young people across New York. In 2013, Governor Cuomo established the first state-funded, full day pre-kindergarten seats in New York and, in 2015, expanded pre-k to serve three-year-olds for the first time. New York's commitment to pre-k is now over $840 million annually, serving 120,000 three and four year-old students each year with universal pre-k offered at no cost to families.

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said, "Incredible work is being done across New York to increase opportunities for critical early education for our youngest learners. Providing equitable access to high-quality prekindergarten programs for three and four year old children statewide is a priority for the Board of Regents and the Department so we can ensure that more children enter the school age program on a trajectory of success."

Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said, "Early childhood programs, Pre-K in particular, support student outcomes in later grades, by giving our youngest learners a great start. We are excited by the expansion of these programs statewide that increasingly offer prekindergarten students the strong start they need to succeed in school and in life."

Funding awarded by district is included below:



School District

Annualized Award

Amsterdam City School District


Batavia City School District


Bolivar-Richburg Central School District


Brocton Central School District


Chittenango Central School District


Dansville Central School District


East Ramapo Central School District (Spring Valley)


Freeport Union Free School District


Geneva City School District


Gorham-Middlesex Central School District (Marcus Whitman)


Greenwich Central School District


Honeoye Central School District


Hornell City School District


Lyncourt Union Free School District


Lyndonville Central School District


Niagara Falls City School District


New York City Public Schools


Peru Central School District


Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District


Rensselaer City School District


Rochester City School District


Schenectady City School District


Waverly Central School District


Wheatland-Chili Central School District


Whitney Point Central School District


Windsor Central School District


State Total


Early learning through pre-kindergarten can bridge achievement gaps and provide benefits in the earliest stages of youth into adulthood. Studies from the National Institute for Early Education Research show that children who participate in high quality early childhood education programs score higher cognitive test scores from their toddler years to age 21. They also score higher academic achievement in both reading and math and are more likely to attend a four-year college and be gainfully employed.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office