27 New Jersey school districts to receive millions in funding to expand preschool

More than two dozen New Jersey school districts are getting money to pay for additional preschool programs.

News 12 Staff

Sep 13, 2022, 3:14 AM

Updated 641 days ago


More than two dozen New Jersey school districts are getting money to pay for additional preschool programs.
Gov. Phil Murphy says that more than $26 million of this year’s budget will go to 27 school districts to create or expand preschool programs. It means more 3- and 4-year-olds can enroll in the programs which provide both educational and economic benefits for families.
It has only been a few days, but 5-year-old Anthony says he loves kindergarten. His mother, Melissa Krzastek, says she loves that she doesn’t have to pay for his preschool anymore – something she is still doing for little sister Juliana.
“It’s a lot. It’s hundreds of dollars a month,” Krzastek says.
Krzastek says she applauds the news that this year’s state budget includes millions of dollars to expand preschool programs.
“It would make a huge difference, especially since I'm a teacher and in my district, we have free preschool, and it makes such a difference with all the students,” she says.
The governor was in Bernards Township on Monday to highlight budget increases in state aid to public schools. This includes the Preschool Expansion Aid. Murphy says it will give more than 2,000 additional 3- and 4-year-olds access to preschool across the state.
“For us, school funding is not either/or. It’s not one school versus another, or one child versus another. That’s the lazy approach,” Murphy said. “School funding is and/both.”
The governor says nearly $10 billion budget dollars went to K-12 schools for a variety of projects and programs. But for parents of little ones, it's that possibility of pre-K they are keeping a close eye on.
“It is so important for their social skills and gets them out of the house and into the public school system,” says Emily Dannunzio, of South Plainfield.
Murphy says he has a long-term goal to provide universal preschool to every 3- and 4-year-old in the state.
The 27 districts receiving the funding can start using it next month. A list of the districts can be found on the state’s website.

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