High-need districts awarded money

Will provide more children access to pre-k

ALBANY — Canajoharie is one of 11 school districts to get state funds in order to give more children access to pre-kindergarten to improve their chances of success once they enter elementary school.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced Wednesday that $5 million has been awarded to 16 high-need school districts to increase the access to quality pre-kindergarten for nearly 1,000 three and four-year-old students across New York. Canajoharie was awarded $78,582.

This funding aims to support the expansion of pre-kindergarten to high-need or underserved districts as part of the State’s ongoing efforts to promote early education, and improve the academic future for all students, the governor’s office stated in a news release.

“Every child deserves a fair shot at a high-quality education,” Cuomo said in a news release. “This funding will help level the academic playing field for children in these underserved communities, providing the opportunity to succeed, thrive and, ultimately, lead.”

According to the release, funding was awarded to school districts based on the quality of the application and other factors, including district and student need, efforts to target the highest need students, and efforts to maximize total number of children served in pre-kindergarten programs.

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said in the release that; “New York is working to ensure successful educational environments for all of our youngest learners. High-quality, full-day prekindergarten programs are key in our efforts to close the achievement gap and to give all of our children the best chance to get the right start in their education and to stay on the path to success throughout their school careers.”

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, “The long-term, positive impact that investing in high-quality prekindergarten programs is undisputed. It’s been shown to increase student performance in math and reading by second grade and provides the strong foundation on which a child’s education is built. I look forward to continuing to work with Gov. Cuomo to expand access to these important programs.”