District nets $104,802 in funding from state

DANSVILLE — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced $15 million has been awarded to 26 school districts to increase access to high-quality pre-kindergarten for over 2,000 three and four year-old children across New York, with Dansville among the beneficiaries.

The Dansville Central School District was awarded $104,802 in funding.

The state said this round of funding will also support the expansion of pre-k to high-need and underserved school districts as part of the state's ongoing effort to promote early education and improve academic outcomes for all students.

"New York is making an unprecedented commitment to universal pre-kindergarten for children living in high-need and underserved school districts," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help ensure more children than ever before are able to attend pre-k and enjoy the proven benefits of early childhood education into adulthood."

Dansville was one of just 26 districts across the state to receive funding. Others in the region included Hornell ($445,806), Honeoye ($97,200), Batavia ($303,467) and Bolivar-Richburg ($222,970).

Funding was awarded to school districts based on quality of applications and other factors such as district and student need, the state's effort to target the highest need students, and a focus on maximizing the total number of children served in pre-kindergarten programs. This additional $15 million in funding will ensure New York continues to support its youngest students by expanding pre-k into high-need districts, including those where there are currently no pre-k seats.

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. In 2013, Governor Cuomo established the first state-funded, full day pre-kindergarten seats in New York and, in 2015, expanded pre-k to serve three-year-olds for the first time. New York's commitment to pre-k is now over $840 million annually, serving 120,000 three and four year-old students each year with universal pre-k offered at no cost to families.

Early learning through pre-kindergarten can bridge achievement gaps and provide benefits in the earliest stages of youth into adulthood. Studies from the National Institute for Early Education Research show that children who participate in high quality early childhood education programs score higher cognitive test scores from their toddler years to age 21. They also score higher academic achievement in both reading and math and are more likely to attend a four-year college and be gainfully employed.