For Release: February 4, 2008
DOE Awards $8.5 Million in Preschool Quality Enhancement Awards
Nearly 3,000 children will benefit from $8.5 million to provide better educational opportunities for low-income children, Department of Education officials announced today.
Governor Jon S. Corzine included the Preschool Quality Enhancement Awards in the fiscal year 2008 budget as part of his commitment to high-quality preschool programs for all children, especially those in impoverished areas that are not covered by state aid allotted to Abbott school districts.
“Governor Corzine and our department will continue to support high-quality preschool programs that give the most vulnerable of our youngest children the foundation for a successful education in our public school system,” Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy said.
“Years of research and our experiences in the Abbott districts have shown that quality preschool for at-risk children is the single most productive step we can take to improve the quality of education in our state,” the Commissioner said. “When at-risk children attend quality preschool, they enter kindergarten more ready to learn. They have already experienced the thrill that comes with understanding and achieving, and they are ready to move on to the next level. The gap between these children and their more economically privileged classmates is dramatically reduced.”
Fourteen providers have been selected for the grants, which will improve the quality of existing full-day preschool educational programs located in non-Abbott districts. To be eligible for the grant, programs had to show that at least 75 percent of the children enrolled in their preschool programs are at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
The funds may be used to support certification efforts for classroom teachers and teacher assistants; select and implement appropriate research-based curriculum and assessment models; enhance teacher professional development; and implement other strategies necessary to align these programs with the high-quality standards of New Jersey’s Abbott preschool programs.
Each provider will receive $3,000 per low-income child enrolled at the time of the grant. The grant period is from Feb. 1, 2008 to January 2009. The following is a list of grant recipients, the amount of money they are receiving, and the towns they serve:
For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.