Before a Q-and-A session focused largely on ethics reform and investigations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a cabinet meeting to highlight a pair of initiatives in his budget proposal, including a plan to boost state spending on pre-kindergarten programs for 3-year-olds.
Gannett’s Denise Nickerson has more:
Cuomo’s $142 billion budget plan includes a $25 million pilot program to expand pre-K to 3-year olds in high-need communities. It would expand on the state’s current budget, which included $1.5 billion over the next five years for 4-year-old programs across the state.
About 250 school districts would be eligible to apply for funding, with the program expected to create 5,000 seats.
“Early learning opportunities can have a tremendous impact on a child’s achievements in life — both during the formative years and over the long-run,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By funding pre-k for 3-year-olds in high-need communities, we can begin to shrink the achievement gap and set those students on the path to success from an even younger age.”
To date, the state spends more than $750 million in funding for early education, according to Cuomo’s office.
Cuomo highlighted the features of the pilot in a presentation today, which can be viewed here.