Additional state funding of $15 million is available to establish more pre-kindergarten programs for three or four-year-old students across New York, announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A preference in funding will be provided to high-need school districts that do not currently have a state-funded pre-K program, according to the announcement.
Also, preference will be given to districts that will be ensuring the inclusion of students with disabilities in integrated settings.
Cuomo in 2013 created the state’s first full-day pre-kindergarten seats, and in 2015, New York expanded pre-kindergarten to serve three-year-olds, the announcement noted.
It said the state’s commitment to pre-K is now over $800 million annually, serving 120,000 three and four-year-old students each year, and universal pre-K is free for families.
Regarding the additional $15 million being made available, applications from school districts will be accepted until Oct. 29.
“It’s critical that every child in New York has equal access to quality pre-K programs, and this funding will help students in underserved districts receive the early education they need for academic success,” Cuomo said.