Governor Murphy’s FY2019 Budget Would Invest $83 Million in Pre-K
Jamesburg – Governor Murphy today touted the benefits of investments in early education as he toured preschool classrooms at JFK Elementary School in Jamesburg. The school was recently able to implement a dual-language program for pre-school learners due to a grant it received in late 2017, demonstrating the value of investing in pre-K education.
“Investments in our youngest students are investments in the future of our state,” Governor Murphy said. “Schools like JFK Elementary show us that there are vast benefits to improving opportunities for pre-K students and that these investments are a critical part of creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey where families want to live and grow. The opportunity here is what our continued commitment to and investment in pre-K can provide every child.”
“I commend Governor Murphy for his focus on preschool funding, as this is an investment that pays long-term dividends,” said Acting Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “Studies have shown that the sooner a child receives quality instruction, the more academically successful the child will be. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that for every dollar spent on preschool, seven dollars in taxpayer money is saved. Clearly, access to quality education is the great equalizer in life.”
“It’s great to have our new Governor visiting Jamesburg and Legislative District 14, and especially on such an important issue as building on our initiative for increased pre-K funding,” said state Senator Linda Greenstein, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “All the studies and research have shown the importance of high quality pre-K, where children who have attended early childhood education programs show reduced need for remediation, improved achievement overall, and greater rates of high school graduation.”
“I applaud Governor Murphy’s efforts to properly fund and expand pre-k programs in our State,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson. “The importance of early education cannot be stressed enough, as it will pay dividends not only for them, but serve as the building blocks for our state’s future. This investment in New Jersey’s next generation makes us stronger and better prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.”
"It is important that our students have the best education available from their earliest days in a classroom,” said Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo. “Pre-kindergarten education is a cornerstone upon which we build all of our finest education institutions that need to be adequately funded and supported.”
Last year, the Legislature made a $25 million investment in pre-K, with Jamesburg receiving over $950,000 to build new programs, hire additional educators, and expand the full-day pre-K program. The funds allowed the school to convert the library into a dual-language program for native English and Spanish speakers, a program that facilitates language learning for young students.
Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget provides $14.9 billion in funding for pre-K to 12 education, an increase of almost $933 million over the previous year. A $57 million increase will continue to fund existing pre-K programs and provide additional dollars for districts who wish to expand or start a pre-K program. This continues the process of expanding State-funded pre-K programs within the State of New Jersey.
The Governor’s budget would give Jamesburg more than $1,030,000 for pre-K programs during the 2018-2019 school year and provide the opportunity to apply for additional funds if there is a need to further increase capacity.