Program encouraged creativity through competition
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the recipients of $340 million in full-day pre-kindergarten funding for 81 school districts and community-based organizations statewide, opening full-day classroom slots to nearly 37,000 children.
The funding, included in the 2014-15 state budget, is the first installment as part of the state's commitment to invest $1.5 billion over five years to build a statewide universal full-day pre-kindergarten program. The state's full-day pre-kindergarten program is designed to incentivize innovation and encourage creativity through competition.
"Training and educating young minds is one of the smartest investments we can make as a state, as studies demonstrate that pre-kindergarten has a long lasting, positive influence on our children's education and future success," Cuomo said. "The state budget this year included a major investment in early education, putting New York state on the path to become just the fourth state in the nation to establish universal full day pre-K. The awards we are announcing today will enable tens of thousands of children to attend pre-K classes, and represent another step in the state's work to prepare our students to compete in the 21st century economy."
Assemblyman John Ceretto announced the Niagara Falls City School District is receiving a $289,131 grant to fund pre-kindergarten. This grant comes in addition to the millions in pre-k funding Ceretto helped secure during budget negotiations this year.
Ceretto welcomed this grant money as an important component in engaging children in school at an even earlier age and getting their education started on the right track.
"A quality education is the most important thing we can provide our children," he said. "The grant money the Niagara Falls City School District is receiving is crucial in ensuring that happens. With universal pre-K a reality, our schools need all the help possible in getting this program off the ground properly, without breaking the backs of our taxpayers.
"Between the millions I fought for in the budget this year and the grant funding announced today, our schools are on the right path to giving our children the tools they need to succeed."