TRENTON – Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz and Senate President Steve Sweeney today applauded the Assembly Democratic leadership for its support for expanding preschool programs in New Jersey. Preschool expansion is part of the Senate Democrats’ “New Jersey: Investing In You” effort launched last fall. The preschool expansion proposal was announced in December and formally introduced in the Legislature last week:
“Quality early childhood education programs are vital to the success of a child and the research shows that the benefits to children both in the short term and over their lives are extraordinary. Over recent months, we have visited preschool classrooms from Newark to Freehold that are preparing students for their futures through high-quality programs. New Jersey is a leader in this effort, but we have to do more to make sure that every child has access to pre-K. That is why I have worked with advocates, parents and school officials to ensure we have a bill that will be successful in jumpstarting the next phase of preschool expansion in New Jersey. I am pleased the Assembly is joining the effort, and I look forward to working with them as we go forward,” said Ruiz.
“If there is one thing we know about education, it is that early investments pay off big for students in their academic careers and that the benefits of high-quality preschool programs continue well into adulthood. Senator Ruiz has championed this issue over the course of her legislative career and led the effort to develop legislation that will provide preschool in additional school districts in New Jersey. I am encouraged the Assembly is supporting pre-K expansion. This was a major component of our ‘New Jersey: Investing In You’ plan and is critical for our residents and for the state’s ultimate success,” said Sweeney.