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Some school districts in Northwest New Jersey to receive grant funding to expand preschool capacity

Funding for Creation, Expansion and Renovation of Preschool Facilities Further Advances Governor Murphy’s Goal of Providing Universal Pre-K throughout New Jersey

NEW JERSEY – As part of his continued commitment to ensuring universal access to high-quality, full-day preschool throughout New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced at Thursday’s New Jersey Education Association Convention the awarding of $51.9 million in federal grant funding from the state to 23 school districts to support 30 projects that will enable the creation, expansion, and renovation of preschool facilities statewide.

One of the challenges that certain school districts have identified as an obstacle in establishing high-quality preschool has been a lack of adequate facilities. The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget included $120 million for grants for preschool facilities expansion, supported by federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars – marking the first time that preschool facility expansion grants were available to Regular Operating Districts.

“This funding will enable more districts to expand their capacity to offer full-day preschool programming to more students, building upon our efforts to provide every 3- and 4-year-old child in our state with access to high-quality pre-K,” Murphy said. “Equitable access to early childhood education across the board is key to ensuring the long-term success of our children and our state as a whole. My Administration will continue to work toward bringing free, full-day pre-K to every district throughout New Jersey.”

“Governor Murphy’s preschool facilities grant funding underscores our commitment to delivery high-quality, full-day preschool across the state,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Ultimately, this funding will increase capacity, a barrier that some communities have faced in the effort to bring high-quality preschool to each community. This funding will also support our initiative to ensure that school districts can provide an enriching, high-quality preschool environment for the benefit of generations of students for years to come.”

High-quality, full-day preschool programs provide smaller class sizes inclusive of students with special needs and are led by a certified teacher and aide.

The 30 projects that have qualified for these preliminary grants had a total need of nearly $113.5 million in estimated project costs. Of that amount, the New Jersey Department of Education will cover approximately $51.9 million as the State’s share of preschool facilities in those districts; the State share is set at a minimum of 40 percent of the total estimated project costs.

“We know that expanded early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make in our children’s success and our future prosperity as a state,” said New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) President Sean M. Spiller. “As a matter of equity and educational justice, we need to keep expanding those opportunities until every family that wants pre-k has access to it. We commend Gov. Murphy for his commitment, which we know will pay dividends for generations to come.”

A second round of funding may be announced at a later date with the remaining funding for preschool facility grants.

Preliminary award amounts including both the State and local share for each project range from approximately $113,000 to over $13 million. The following is a list of the 30 projects receiving a preliminary grant award:

County District Amount
Atlantic Egg Harbor Twp. Davenport Elementary Interior Alterations
Atlantic Linwood City Seaview Elementary Preschool Addition
Bergen Elmwood Park Gantner Ave. School Preschool Addition
Bergen Elmwood Park Gilbert Ave. School Preschool Addition
Bergen Elmwood Park 16th Ave. Preschool Addition
Bergen Englewood City Quales School Conversion
Bergen Englewood City Grieco Elementary Toilet Rooms
Bergen Glen Rock Borough Glen Rock Middle/High School Interior Alterations
Bergen Teaneck Teaneck Bryant School Preschool Addition
Bergen Teaneck Teaneck Bryant School Interior Alterations
Burlington Riverside Riverside New Early Childhood Center
Camden Cherry Hill Malberg ECC Addition
Camden Cherry Hill Malberg Construct Toilet Rooms
Camden Cherry Hill Kilmer Preschool Addition
Cape May Lower Twp. Douglas School Interior Renovations
Cumberland Upper Deerfield Seabrook School Preschool Addition
Essex West Orange St. Cloud Renovations
Middlesex Jamesburg JFK Addition and Alterations
Middlesex Piscataway Eisenhower Elementary Preschool Addition
Middlesex South River Preschool Addition to Administration Building
Monmouth Holmdel Twp. Village Elementary Interior Alterations
Monmouth Keyport Keyport Central School Preschool Playground
Monmouth Matawan-Aberdeen Regional Cambridge Park Renovations
Ocean Manchester Twp. Ridgeway Elementary Preschool Addition
Ocean Plumsted Twp. Woehr Interior Alterations
Somerset North Plainfield East and Elementary Preschool Addition
Somerset Somerville Borough Van Derveer Preschool Addition
Somerset Somerville Borough Van Derveer Interior Alterations
Sussex Montague Twp. Montague Twp. School Preschool Addition
Warren Washington Twp. Brass Castle School Interior Alterations

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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