ACNJ Plays Role in National Campaign for Preschool Expansion
Advocates for Children of New Jersey recently met with national early education leaders to help advance efforts to expand model preschools, like those in New Jersey, to children across the nation.
ACNJ Senior Policy Analyst Cynthia Rice met with United States Secretaries Arne Duncan of Education, Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services and other key federal decision-makers to discuss advocacy efforts on both the state and national level in support of the federal early learning proposal.
As part of that effort, ACNJ has compiled preschool fact sheets for all 12 New Jersey Congressional districts, showing the number of children who would benefit from expansion of quality preschool and explaining how this type of early education can lay the foundation for school success. We are also inviting Congressional members to visit their local preschools.
View the Congressional fact sheets.
Meanwhile back in New Jersey… there’s good news and bad news. ACNJ was successful in getting key legislators to sponsor a budget resolution to provide $10 million additional state dollars for preschool expansion. The proposal, however, did not garner enough legislative support to be included in the new state budget, which Governor Christie signed on June 28. We did, however, succeed in getting legislators talking about this long-overdue investment in quality early education. ACNJ, with its many partners, will continue to advocate for the preschool expansion mandated in the state’s 2008 school funding law and invite you to continue supporting our efforts on this front. We’ll keep you posted.
Action for Kids at ACNJ Forums
ACNJ held regional Kids Count forums across the state, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss ways to respond to the pressing needs of children. Participants formulated concrete action plans to address three issues: reducing the number of uninsured children, boosting participation in school breakfast and expanding access to high-quality preschool. We expect these action plans will result in positive change for children. We thank all who attended and are looking forward to working together on these issues.
NJ Tops Nation in Child Well-Being
While New Jersey dropped to 5th place in the national KIDS COUNT Data Book recently released, from 4th last year, New Jersey’s children still fare better than most of their young peers across the country. New Jersey remained 2nd in education, but lost ground in certain measures of child health, dropping from 13th place this year, compared to 5th last year. The state ranked 18th for the economic well-being of its families.
View New Jersey’s profile.