TRENTON, NJ – The Rahway Board of Education received funding to enhance and expand its preschool education program.

In a recent press release, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that Rahway was one of 31 districts to receive money from the new Preschool Education Expansion Act (PEEA). The district received $881,456 to help fund the district’s early education program.

“By investing in early childhood education, we are making a long-term investment in the next generation,” Murphy said. “Every child deserves the opportunity to have access to quality pre-K programs and this funding will provide our children with the tools and support they need to reach their greatest potential.”

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According to the press release, the state awarded $20.6 million to 31 districts throughout the state, which accounts for the largest increase in pre-k funding in over a decade. A second round of funding is expected to be announced by the New Jersey Department of Education in October.

“We know that high quality pre-K programs are the single best head start we can give to help children reach their fullest academic potential,” Senate President Stephen Sweeney said in the press release. “New Jersey’s programs have gained national attention and respect. The continued expansion is a reflection of our continued commitment to providing early childhood education to more young students in more communities across the state.”

The funds were distributed based on the amount of low-income students in the district, the release said. It will be used to “support existing preschool programs to provide high-quality programming by extending the hours, decreasing class size and adding additional children.”

“We know that for every dollar we invest in early childhood education, we save $7 in tax payer money down the line,” Senator Teresa Ruiz, the chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “This announcement made by Governor Murphy secures the funding promised by the governor and the Legislature to expand early childhood education, an investment in our children and our state. I applaud the Governor and his administration for dedicating this funding, and moving us towards a New Jersey that has high quality preschool programs for its earliest learners.”

First round funding was directed towards districts that previously received partial State aid and could also have programs up and running by October.