🚸 NJ is offering pre-K grants

🚸 $33M in federal funds

🚸 Criteria for programs is outlined

New Jersey has begun taking applications to expand free preschool programs, which have already been added to a number of the state's public school districts.

Another $33 million in federal grant funding was announced on Wednesday by Gov. Phil Murphy and Acting Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer.

The state Department of Education would accept grant applications online via the NJDOE Homeroom portal, through the entire month of May until June 3.

SEE ALSO: Another NJ district is adding full day Kindergarten

NJ schools with full day preK (Canva, Townsquare Media)
(Canva, Townsquare Media)

Eligible proposals will be prioritized, by category, in the following order:

🏫 Increase available pre-K seats by at least 10%, ranked by percentage of increased seats

🏫 Enhance pre-K facilities by increasing capacity of existing classrooms or by constructing/rehabilitating restrooms.

🏫 Expand pre-K programs from half-day to full-day

🏫 Expand classroom capacity for new pre-K programs and guarantee additional seats

If approved, pre-K expansion projects must be completed by the start of September 2026.

As of late last year, there were already full day pre-K programs in more than 260 of NJ's public school districts.

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The $33 million announced on May 1 would be the second round of a total $120 million in Universal Preschool Facilities Expansion Grants, as earmarked from the American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund.

The first round was announced last spring, after which grants were awarded to qualifying regular operating districts.

Those funds have helped create over 3,500 preschool seats in 27 school districts statewide, according to state education officials.

“We’ve been committed to bringing universal preschool to as many communities as possible, and an important element of our initiative is providing funding for new and expanded preschool facilities,” Murphy said in a written release.

“Many communities that want to establish high-quality preschool programs have faced the challenge of securing adequate facilities to house those programs,” Dehmer said in the same release.

He continued “This first-of-its-kind funding for New Jersey school districts helps overcome those barriers and brings us one step closer to realizing our goal of universal preschool for all children.”

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