Assemblywoman MILA M. JASEY
District 27 (Essex and Morris)
Assemblywoman BETTYLOU DECROCE
District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Assemblyman PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Assemblyman VINCENT PRIETO
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)
Assemblyman RALPH R. CAPUTO
District 28 (Essex)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman THOMAS P. GIBLIN
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman DANIEL R. BENSON
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Assemblymen McKeon and Chiaravalloti
Provides for implementation of full-day preschool programs in additional school districts; appropriates $110,000,000 from Property Tax Relief Fund to DOE.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the implementation of full-day preschool programs, supplementing P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-43 et al.), and making an appropriation.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 12 of P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-54) to the contrary, a school district that is required to provide free access to full-day preschool to all three- and four-year old pupils pursuant to subsection a. of section 12 of P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-54), shall submit to the Commissioner of Education, no later than September 1 of the second full school year following the effective date of this act, a five-year plan for the full implementation of full-day preschool for all three- and four-year olds. The commissioner shall begin to accept, review, and approve plans immediately following the effective date of this act, and a school district shall be authorized to begin implementation of full-day preschool in the first full school year following the commissioner’s approval of the district’s five-year plan. A school district shall annually update the five-year plan based on the actual implementation experience and shall revise its pupil projections in accordance with that experience.
b. A school district that provides free access to full-day preschool pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall receive preschool education aid in accordance with the provisions of subsection a. of section 12 of P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-54), except that the commissioner shall reduce the amount of preschool education aid allotted to a school district by the amount of any federal funding that the school district receives in that school year for the purpose of operating a preschool program.
c. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to an SDA district, as defined pursuant to the provisions of section 3 of P.L.2000, c.72 (C.18A:7G-3), or a school district that demonstrated its capacity to offer a full-day three- or four-year old program, or a full-day three- and four-year old program, in the 2008-2009 school year pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection c. of section 12 of P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-54).
d. As used in this section, “full implementation” means serving 90% of three- and four-year old pupils in accordance with the preschool quality standards adopted by the commissioner.
2. There is appropriated from the Property Tax Relief Fund to the Department of Education the sum of $110,000,000 for the purpose of effectuating the provisions of this act. Any appropriations that are not expended at the end of the fiscal year shall be available to be used for the same purpose in subsequent fiscal years.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
Under the provisions of the “School Funding Reform Act of 2008” (SFRA), P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-43 et al.), school districts classified in District Factor Groups (DFG) A or B, or districts classified in DFG CD having a concentration of at-risk students of at least 40 percent, were required to begin offering access to full-day preschool for all three- and four-year old children residing in the district. However, State funding has not been provided to allow for this expansion, and currently, only 35 school districts offer such preschool access.
This bill provides for the expansion of full-day preschool programs for three- and four-year olds in additional communities. Any school district that was required to provide universal access to full-day preschool under the SFRA would be required to submit to the Commissioner of Education, within two years of the bill’s effective date, a five-year plan for the full implementation of a full-day preschool program. The commissioner may accept, review, and approve a plan submitted at any point following the bill’s effective date, and a school district would be authorized to begin implementation in the first full school year beginning after receiving the commissioner’s approval. A school district that provides access to full-day preschool under this bill would receive preschool education aid as calculated pursuant to the SFRA. The commissioner would reduce a district’s allotment of preschool education aid by the amount of any federal funding that the district received for the purpose of operating a preschool program.
The bill appropriates $110 million for the purpose of effectuating the bill’s provisions. Any funding that is not expended at the end of the fiscal year would carry forward to the subsequent fiscal years to be used for the same purpose.