School Districts Receive Preschool Expansion Aid

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  OCEAN COUNTY – Manchester, Plumsted and Eagleswood are three of the 27 school districts that will receive preschool expansion aid to expand access to high-quality preschool programs.

  Governor Phil Murphy and the Department of Education recently announced that more than $26 million was allotted in the 2022-2023 school year. The funding was allocated in the FY2023 Budget and ensures that nearly 2,150 additional three- and four-year-old children will have access to a preschool classroom by increasing New Jersey’s preschool seats to nearly 70,000.

  Locally, only three Ocean County districts received aid. They are:

  • Eagleswood – $527,448
  • Manchester – $3,076,056
  • Plumsted – $700,648

  “We know that providing children with access to preschool programs creates short and long term educational and economic benefits for families,” Murphy said. “When we invest in preschool education, we also invest in our youth and in the future success of the State of New Jersey for decades to come.”

  Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen McMillan said, “I am excited to work with the 27 school districts receiving this funding to create and expand their community’s preschool programs.”

“Governor Murphy’s continued budget allowance for high-quality preschool allows many young children an opportunity to attend preschool and reap the benefits of starting school earlier,” she added.

  The NJDOE broadened the number of districts in July that could apply for PEA funding from those with 20 percent of students coming from lower-income families (defined by being eligible for free or reduced priced lunch) to districts with 10 percent of students who meet the income eligibility standards.

  Manchester, Plumsted and other school districts that will receive the grant award demonstrated to DOE that they can provide a high-quality preschool program to enrolled students.

  A high-quality preschool program is defined by a full-day program with a certificated teacher, an aide, and small classes that are inclusive of children with special needs who have an individualized education program.

  The FY2023 Budget appropriated $40 million to support grant awards to districts expanding existing preschool programs or districts creating new preschool programs. The remaining FY2023 funding will be awarded at a later time.