Office of Children and Family Services


For Immediate Release: 11/9/2016

Contact: Craig Smith


Phone: 518-402-3130

Governor Cuomo Announces $10.4 Million In State Funding To Support 3-Year-Old Pre-K In 25 High-Need School Districts

Funding Will Allow More Than 1,500 Children to Enroll in High-Quality Pre-K

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $10.4 million has been awarded to 25 high-need school districts to increase access to quality pre-kindergarten for more than 1,500 three-year-old students across New York. As included in the governor's 2016 Built to Lead Agenda, this funding aims to support the expansion of pre-k as part of the State’s ongoing efforts to promote early education, specifically in high-need districts, and improve the academic future for all students.

"Every child deserves a fair shot at a high-quality education," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help level the academic playing field for children in these underprivileged communities, giving them opportunity to succeed, thrive and ultimately lead in New York."

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.

"Research shows that as much as half of the achievement gap is already established before students enter first grade," said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. "Investing in high-quality prekindergarten programs can narrow the achievement gap between low-income and affluent youth and have a positive long-term impact on children’s lives. Giving our children a quality head start is simply the right thing to do."

"We know that prekindergarten makes a huge difference in preparing children for school," said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. "High-quality prekindergarten programs, especially those that provide full-day services and serve low-income or high need students, help those students stay on track to graduate from high school and, over the long term, significantly reduce costs for remedial education, social services, health and criminal justice programs.

Funding awarded by district: 

Addison Central School District
Auburn City School District
Bath Central School District
Beekmantown Central School District
Canajoharie Central School District
Chateaugay Central School District
Cohoes City School District
Copenhagen Central School District
Dansville Central School District
Dunkirk City School District
Fillmore Central School District
GeneseeValley Central School District
Jordan-Elbridge Central School District
Lackawanna City School District
Lansingburgh Central School District
Middleburgh Central School District
Monticello Central School District
Odessa-Montour Central School District
Penn Yan Central School District
Rome City School District
Sodus Central School District
Syracuse City School District
Watertown Central School District
Whitney Point Central School District
Yonkers City School District

Since 2011, Governor Cuomo has more than doubled the state's commitment to early childhood education to improve the academic future of young people across New York. Early learning can bridge achievement gaps and provide benefits in the earliest stages of youth and throughout adulthood. 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.