These N.J. school districts will now get money to create or expand preschool under Murphy plan

By Brent Johnson | Posted January 10, 2019 at 07:00 AM

Nearly three dozen public school districts in New Jersey have been tapped by Gov. Phil Murphy's administration to receive a second round of taxpayer-funded state aid to create or expand preschool programs.

The Democratic governor announced Thursday he's spreading the Preschool Education Expansion Aid across 33 districts in 15 counties as he continues his push to make pre-K universal in the Garden State.

NJ PreSchool Expansion

The money — part of Murphy's first state budget — will benefit 2,320 children at the start of the next school year, which begins in September. 

“Expanding early childhood education is among the smartest investments we can make for the future of our state,” Murphy said in a statement. "Providing children with access to high-quality education is a vital component of building a stronger and fairer New Jersey where children and families can thrive."

The first round of money that Murphy doled out — announced last September — went to 31 districts to expand pre-K programs that already existed.

But this will mark the first time any of the newly tapped 33 communities have received state aid for preschool, Murphy's administration said. 

Murphy revealed the new districts during an event at Woodmere Elementary School in Eatontown, one of the districts included. 

Here are all the southern NJ districts and what they'll receive: Districts in which Garrison Architects assisted with Pre-K facilities planning are highlighted in bold.

ATLANTIC COUNTY
   Northfield City: $951,030

BURLINGTON COUNTY
   Maple Shade: $1,150,560 *
   North Hanover: $1,815,328

CAMDEN COUNTY
   Collingswood: $678,327 *
   Oaklyn: $437,426 *
   Waterford: $2,001,519 *
   Runnemede: $570,555 *

CAPE MAY COUNTY
   Ocean City: $257,040 *

CUMBERLAND COUNTY
   Stow Creek: $86,597
   Greenwich: $86,597
   Hopewell: $371,130

GLOUCESTER COUNTY
   Manuta: $1,624,755 *
   West Deptford: $1,234,310

SALEM COUNTY
   Pennsville: $692,725

Where does this money come from? And what does it go toward?

State preschool funding isn't new in New Jersey. The state spent more than $650 million a year on public pre-K prior to Murphy.  But Murphy included $83 million more in his first state budget, which was bolstered by a series of state tax increases. Murphy's administration says the preschool aid is handed out based on the number of low-income students in districts. 

This round will go toward setting up or expanding both half-day and full-day preschool, which will vary from district to district.  It will give students what Murphy's administration calls "high-quality preschool." That means classes limited to 15 students taught by a certified teacher and an aide, a transition to full-day programs, and individualized programs for special-needs children.

The administration said the money in this round targets districts that currently do not receive preschool state aid and that have more than 20 percent of their students receiving free or reduced lunch.

Here is the full list from the first round of funding; Districts in which Garrison Architects assisted with Pre-K facilities planning are highlighted in bold.

ATLANTIC COUNTY
   Absecon: $188,730
   Brigatine: $720,684
   Galloway Township: $623,988
   Hamilton Township: $1,040,838

BURLINGTON COUNTY
   Mount Holly: $557,800 *
   Willingboro Township: $779,824 *

CAMDEN COUNTY
   Bellmawr: $321,641*
   Lindenwold: $201,657
   Woodlynne: $234,090 *

CAPE MAY COUNTY
   Lower Township: $1,766,892 *
   North Wildwood City: $327,078 *

CUMBERLAND COUNTY
   Lawrence Township: $229,565
   Maurice River Township: $286,197

GLOUCESTER COUNTY
   Logan Township: $327,470 *
   Paulsboro: $513,555 *

SALEM COUNTY
   Pittsgrove Township: $396,452 *

 

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