Six School Districts in Majority Leader’s Stewart Cousins’ Senate District awarded funds to expand or begin Universal Pre-K programs

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

January 18, 2022

Yonkers School District awarded a $900,000 competitive grant to expand Universal Pre-K. 5 other school districts will receive first time state funding for Pre-K programs.

Yonkers, NY – The Yonkers School District was awarded a $900,000 competitive grant from the New York State Education Department to expand its existing Pre-Kindergarten program and five other school districts in State Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins’ District will get state funding for Pre-K programs for the very first time. The districts are Ardsley ($280,800), Dobbs Ferry ($221,400), Edgemont ($216,000), Elmsford ($156,600) and Hastings-on-Hudson ($172,800).

Senator Stewart-Cousins has championed a commitment to have Pre-K statewide within the next three years. Last year, she led the successful fight to secure a historic $105 million for Universal Pre-Kindergarten across the state. This is the largest commitment in Pre-K funding ever. Under the leadership of Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, the legislature will continue to fight for universal Pre-K until all four-year-olds have access. 

“As a former teacher and a lifelong advocate for education, I believe we must commit the financial resources to provide our pre-kindergarten children with every opportunity to learn.” said State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “This Universal Pre-K funding will enable these school districts to expand and, in some cases, start early learning for these children. I want every child in the state to have this advantage.”

“This grant to expand full-day universal pre-kindergarten programs championed by Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins demonstrates her strong commitment to provide equity and access to quality education,” noted Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin M. Quezada. “Exemplary early childhood education is foundational for the academic and social emotional growth for students, in particular underserved children. We have the data that proves this in Yonkers because of our decades providing pre-kindergarten opportunities. Early learning builds the skills students need to thrive in school and life.” 

Of the funds allocated for Universal Pre-Kindergarten, $90 million were dedicated to establishing new programs in school districts that do not offer state-funded Universal Pre-K programs. An additional $15 million was dedicated to expanding existing programs through competitive grants. Yonkers was one of 31 school districts to receive the Universal Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Grant.