TRENTON – Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz today applauded the federal award of $17.5 million to New Jersey for preschool expansion in the state. Announced today by U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr., the grant award is part of more than $247 million that will be provided to 18 states to continue the work of expanding access to high-quality preschool for children from low- to moderate-income families.
Ruiz is the sponsor of legislation (S997) to dedicate $103 million to the state Department of Education for the expansion of early childhood education to additional districts, as contemplated under the 2008 School Funding Reform Act.
“New Jersey is a leader in high quality preschool education and evidence continues to show that these programs result in long-term gains for students in school but also later in life. This funding is great news because it will allow us to continue the work to expand our successful pre-k programs to more children.
“I applaud the Obama Administration for its focus on preschool education and thank the President for recognizing that this is one of the best investments we can make in our children. New Jersey has a lot to be proud of when it comes to early childhood education, but our ultimate goal must be universal pre-k. As education chair, I am committed to continuing the effort to make sure that all children have access to preschool and the tools they need to be successful.”