Legislative Update

Pre-k is a NJ priority! The FY19 state budget has nearly $83 million in pre-k expansion funding for the 2018-2019 school year. This follows the $25 million in the prior year’s state budget – which was the first expansion funding in nearly a decade. The strategic effort to have pre-k expansion as a statewide priority began in early 2015, and we’ve accomplished so much together! Pre-K Our Way continues strategic focus on pre-k expansion and on securing significantly increased funding in the next state budget. Why? Tens of thousands of NJ’s 3- and 4-year-olds across hundreds of communities remain waiting for what was promised by law in 2008.

Is Pre-K Coming Your Way?

Pre-k expansion is statewide priority in New Jersey. Both the Governor and NJ’s Legislative Leadership are committed to pre-k expansion. And remember: Governor Murphy has been clear about his support for full expansion (and universal pre-k) within four-years as stated in his March 2018 Budget Address. Pre-K Our Way remains committed to keeping pre-k expansion as a statewide priority – and to securing significantly more funding for pre-k expansion in next year’s state budget.

Funding for pre-k expansion in the State Budget effective July 1, 2018 is identical to that proposed in the Governor’s March 13 Budget Address and in the Legislative Budget separately proposed and approved on June 21, 2018 by the State Senate and General Assembly:

$25 million for totally new expansion communities for the 2018-2019 school year 

$25 million in continued funding for the 26 expansion districts opened in the just-concluded school year 

Nearly $33 million for the original 35 school districts (formerly known as Abbott, plus 4) as the first increase in funding for them in nearly a decade 

This budget funding demonstrates commitment to thousands of New Jersey’s 3- and 4-year-olds, and commitment to their opportunity for access to New Jersey’s high-quality, state-funded, full-day pre-k. Pre-K Our Way thanks Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin for their steadfast support for expanding state-funded pre-k in New Jersey. 

DESPITE THE RECENT SUCCESS IN PRE-K EXPANSION, WHERE A CHILD LIVES SHOULDN’T DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE ACCESS TO PRE-K. 

Thanks to Governor Murphy and the Legislature, more communities have state-funded, full-day pre-k for some or all 3- and 4-year-olds. However and as promised by 2008 law, there should be hundreds more communities – and tens of thousands more children – with access to NJ’s full-day, state-funded pre-k for every 3- and 4-year-old in the community.  

The NJ Department of Education determined the new pre-k expansion communities funded through this year’s state budget. In addition to communities announced in September 2018, there will be additional communities announced in October 2018. If your community is not listed, let your legislators know that you want state-funded, full-day pre-k in your community!

 

 

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