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State earmarks $475,000 to expand preschool access on Long Island

August 2, 2019
Melissa Koenig
Long Island Herald

Long Island could be getting one step closer to implementing a universal preschool program with the allocation of $475,000 from the state budget to fund an initiative called the Regional Pre-K Technical Assistance Center.

The money was granted on July 23 to Nassau BOCES’ Long Island Pre-K Initiative, which would oversee the center. The funds would be used to “provide guidance to organizations and school districts planning to start, expand or improve pre-K programs on Long Island,” according to Lucinda Hurley, the coordinator of the Pre-K Initiative.

To do so, the center would seek to support new preschool parents, provide professional development to teachers, work with school districts to determine which ones would like to implement preschool programs, coordinate curriculums among preschools in various districts and help ensure that every district on Long Island has funds for a preschool program, according to State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, a Democrat from Elmont who helped secure the funding for the center, along with State Sen. Monica Martinez, a Democrat from Brentwood.

“This money is basically creating an initiative to help facilitate universal pre-K on Long Island,” Solages said, adding that the center would prepare “for when we actually get the pre-K money.”