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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $15 million in funding is available to establish pre-kindergarten programs for three or four-year-old students across New York. A preference in funding will be provided to high-need school districts that do not currently have a State funded pre-kindergarten program.

"Every child deserves a quality education beginning at the earliest stages, and this critical funding will help ensure students in the most vulnerable communities have access to the programs they need to succeed," Governor Cuomo said. "By making these smart investments in our students, we are investing in our state's future and helping to build a stronger New York for all."

Because research shows that pre-K education results in better test scores, less crime and economic benefits, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2019's States with the Best & Worst Early Education Systems Tuesday. It found New York has the 9th worst New York Has the 9th Worst Early Education System in America.

This additional $15 million will ensure New York continues to support its youngest students by supporting the expansion of pre-kindergarten in school districts across New York, including those where there are currently no pre-kindergarten seats. In addition, preference will be given to districts that will be ensuring the inclusion of students with disabilities in integrated settings and programs are asked to maximize community based partnerships.

Studies from the National Institute for Early Education Research show that children who participate in high-quality early childhood education programs have higher cognitive test scores from the toddler years to age 21, higher academic achievement in both reading and math, and are more likely to attend a four-year college and be gainfully employed.

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