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ERIC Number: ED517176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Committed to Reform: Preschool Expansion Moves Forward Despite Financial Obstacles. Policy Brief
Donovan, Laura Fasbach
Association for Children of New Jersey
New Jersey's continued commitment to preschool is in line with a growing body of research that shows an investment in such programs produces both short-term and long-term gains for children, their families and their communities. In fact, a series of studies from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) in 2007 and 2009 found that children who attended Abbott preschool programs showed great progress in language, literacy and math and were substantially less likely to have to repeat grades. Other research reveals that children who attend high-quality preschools are also less likely to become pregnant as teenagers or get in trouble with the law. What's more, for every dollar spent on high-quality preschool, there is up to a $16 return on investment by saving government spending on education, the criminal justice system and public assistance. But as the realities of the nation's fiscal crisis hit home last year, educators throughout New Jersey's schools were forced to work quickly, diligently and often creatively in an effort to ensure economic challenges didn't derail the state's successful track record of building a solid educational foundation for our youngest learners. Consider only a year after the Legislature voted to create the new school funding formula requiring non-Abbott schools to expand or create preschool programs, the FY 2010 budget approved last spring included virtually no funds to make it happen. Only four school districts were eligible--and fortunate enough--to receive funding from the state Department of Education to expand their preschool programs. While more than 100 school districts were originally targeted as "universal districts" to carry out the state's preschool goals, the absence of funding has brought most expansion planning to a halt. It soon became clear that if school districts wanted to bring more preschoolers through their doors, they would have to find a way to pay for it on their own. Though schools still have three more years to expand or create their preschool programs under the legislation's original deadline, at least 10 districts throughout the state opted to begin expansion last September despite the lack of funding. This policy brief examines how school officials from these districts overcame financial challenges and obtained community support to deliver high-quality preschool programs that are already reaping rewards. [Additional funding for this policy brief was provided by the Schumann Fund for New Jersey and Pre-K Now.]
Association for Children of New Jersey. 35 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ 07102. Tel: 973-643-3876; Fax: 973-643-9153; Web site: http://www.acnj.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Foundation for Child Development; Pew Charitable Trusts
Authoring Institution: Association for Children of New Jersey
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Abbott v Burke