New Newsworks column: N.J.'s School Funding Woes Extend to Preschools

It starts here:
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) just released its annual “State of Preschool Yearbook” and New Jersey, as usual, gets high marks. Among all states and the District of Columbia (nine states have no programs), N.J. ranks #2 in funding for our free full-day preschools for economically-disadvantaged youngsters. We rank #4 in access for three-year-olds and #18 in access for four-year-olds, primarily because more states serve the latter population. 
Despite NIERR’s glowing evaluation of program quality, our preschool programs attract critics who worry about quantity.  Some complain that N.J.’s preschools aren’t expanding quickly enough to adequately serve all eligible students. Others gripe that annual costs -- $655.5 million for fiscal year 2016, according to Gov. Christie proposed state budget -- are unsustainable. As such, debates about N.J.’s free preschools mirror the state’s endless debates over our costly school funding formula. 
Read the rest here.

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