City School District Drafts $23 Million Preschool Budget

Jessica Zina teaches her New Brunswick preschool class in December 2016.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The school district’s citywide, largely state-funded preschool program is expected to run nearly $23.2 million in the upcoming school year, for an increase of about $375,000 from the current budget.

The New Brunswick Public Schools Board of Education approved the submission of the pre-K budget, which may still change, last week. The plan outlines how the district will spend money on the 1,542 kids who are projected to attend preschool during the 2017-18 academic year.

“The same program we’re running this year is the same program we’re running next year,” Business Administrator Richard Jannarone told TAPinto New Brunswick, noting that the spending plan doesn’t call for cuts to programs or staff.

Sign Up for E-News

At this point, state officials are reviewing the draft budget. They may suggest changes to New Brunswick’s administration before giving it their stamp of approval.

What the state thinks of the budget is important because most of the money comes from its coffers. Of the $23.2 million tab, district officials expect New Jersey to pick up more than $20.8 million, according to the budget planning worksheet.

Another $1.7 million is slated to be carried over from this year’s state-granted preschool education aid.

Local taxpayers could pay $632,000 toward preschool in New Brunswick next year, according to district documents. That money would come from the regular operating budget, covering programs for children with special needs, whose preschool education isn’t paid for by the state, Jannarone said.

Employee pay and benefits and the rising expenses of third-party preschool providers account for most of the spending increase, according to the document.

Unlike most New Jersey towns, New Brunswick is required to offer preschool classes, Jannarone said. That’s because the school district is a former Abbott district, a label applied to poor communities whose schools in turn receive additional state money.

To meet that requirement, the school district has agreements with outside preschool providers, who are expected to take in more than 1,000 students next year, Jannarone said. Roughly $14.4 million of next year’s pre-K budget would fund those preschool classes, according to the draft budget.

The Puerto Rican Action Board holds preschool classes at six locations in New Brunswick. Catholic Charities, Acelero, Campus Kids, Noah’s Ark, Mt. Zion and Tiny Tots also have contracts with the district, according to the document.

“They follow the school district’s curriculum, too,” Jannarone said. “Everybody’s on the same page.”

But the district doesn’t hand them blank checks. Jannarone said the providers are reimbursed for what they spend on education, which includes rent costs and salaries for teachers and paraprofessionals, who are paid in line with the district’s salary guide, among other things.

Each year, the state audits some of those third-party providers.

Gov. Chris Christie is expected to announce next month exactly how much state education aid New Brunswick will receive.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - May 23, 2018

The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Sex can be an almost-religious experience, but it seems a bit excessive to copulate under a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Catholic church's outdoor prayer garden. Yet, that's where ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 22, 2018

The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!

MANVILLE - If marijuana becomes legal in New Jersey, here's another town where you won't be able to buy it: Manville. The mayor and council unanimously voted to prohibit any sale of weed - recreational and medicinal - within Manville's borders. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 21, 2018

The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!

STATEWIDE - Should public school students be allowed to attend schools in other towns? That's the big, controversial question in a lawsuit filed against the state that looks to end what some consider to be the worst school segregation in the nation. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 18, 2018


IN COURT - Sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but the NJ Turnpike Authority has gone to court for years trying to stop a pizzeria chain whose logo is suspiciously similar to our beloved Garden State Parkway sign. Sure, nobody wants drivers searching for an on-ramp to end ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 17, 2018


MOUNTAINSIDE - Oh, where to begin describing this 46-page lawsuit against two Mountainside cops? A detective sergeant placing his testicles on co-workers' food. And throwing poop-smeared toilet tissue at them. And defecating in someone's boots. And taunting with a dildo dubbed "Big Blue" he liked to wave in cops' faces, as he chased ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 16, 2018


ATLANTIC CITY - Happy days are here again, as the state's once gasping gaming resort is expecting sports betting will rake in $150 million to $175 million a year in new, glorious profits - courtesy of your pals on the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, ecstatic Stockton University officials believe, this recharged gambling mecca will bring in a whole new ...

Rutgers Athletics Signs Dyehard Fan Supply to New Multi-Year Agreement

May 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Rutgers Athletics has selected Dyehard Fan Supply, an event and retail merchandise marketing and e-commerce company, as the official merchandising partner for the Scarlet Knights in a new multi-year agreement.Dyehard will handle game day and event merchandising for Rutgers Athletics.

“We’re excited to expand gameday merchandising options and elevate ...

Newark man given 22-year sentence for kidnapping, sexual asault of Rutgers student

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Newark man was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Rutgers University student on the school campus in New Brunswick.

Michael Knight, 40, of Newark must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement today.

Superior Court Judge ...

Rutgers center battles noise pollution nationwide

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - Eric Zwerling got a call this week from a man was living next to a fitness center, complaining he repeatedly heard the loud thud heavy free weights and medicine balls hit the floor.

The man was recovering from having a pace maker in his chest and wondering of the impact of the noise from the gym.

“I’ve received thousands of calls,” said Zwerling, ...

Police Investigate Rabbit "Tale"

May 11, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Local cops are investigating an incident of ‘theft by deception’ involving the Plainfield Animal Hospital. 

According to the incident report filed by Officer Justin Melanson and obtained by TAPinto, residents of South Plainfield took their pet rabbit to the Park Avenue animal hospital on April 4 to be euthanized due to advanced ...


Here's How to Help Protect Young Athletes from Injury: Let Them Play Multiple Sports

May 1, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick:

One of the responsibilities that parents take most seriously is protecting their children from injury, whether it is buckling seat belts in a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike. And when their kids become teenagers and want to participate in sports or other activities, parents do everything they can to keep their sons and daughters from getting ...

Department of Human Services Awards Teens for Creativity in Celebrating Their Family Tree

May 24, 2018

(TRENTON) - The New Jersey Department of Human Services on Wednesday honored 12 New Jersey high school and middle school students for their winning entries in the 2018 New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which celebrated the students’ artistic and written word portrayal of how their family tree may look.

The contest hosted by the department’s Division of Family Development focused on ...