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:
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
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.