Gov. Malloy Announces $1.6 Million for Pre-K Classrooms in Twelve School Districts
Last updated January 14, 2020
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Daniel P. Malloy today announced that the State Bond Commission is anticipated to approve nearly $1.6 million in grants at its meeting on Monday that will be used to improve and upgrade early childhood education classrooms across the state.
The funding comes as part of the latest round of capital improvement grants under the Smart Start program that Governor Malloy signed into law last year, which is a ten-year initiative designed to expand access to pre-K in public schools, particularly among low-income children. Funds for the initiative come through a combination of state bonding for capital improvements and resources from the Tobacco Settlement Fund for operations.
The first Smart Start classrooms are set to open this fall in 14 communities throughout the state, providing an additional 416 three and four-year-olds with high-quality preschool.
“If we want Connecticut students and our state to have a brighter tomorrow, we must make smart decisions no early childhood today. If we are going to maintain our record high graduation rates and continue to close the achievement gap, then we need to prepare equip our kids with the tools they need to succeed from day one,” Governor Malloy said. “By increasing high-quality early education opportunities for preschoolers – regardless of their family’s income or economic upbringing – and partnering with public school districts, our Smart Start initiative is helping to improve outcomes for all children.”
“Providing an opportunity for every child to develop good learning skills at an early age is not only critical to their future as individuals, but to the future of Connecticut,” Lt. Governor Wyman said. “Early education can truly change lives. This investment will lead to a better quality of life for our children now and when they become adults.”
In order to quality for funding, the state Office of Early Childhood reviews all applications through the Smart Start program, and applicants must demonstrate an unmet need for preschool, as well as show how the municipality or district would provide preschool access to children who otherwise would be unable to enroll in a preschool program.
“Public schools are the backbone of our state’s education system, making them critical partners in the education of our preschoolers,” Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor said. “With the help of Smart Start, we are expanding high-quality preschool in our public schools, not only making it more accessible to children and families in more communities, but helping to build on our work to ensure age-appropriate learning from preschool through Third Grade.”
Grants under this latest round of funding are as follows:
- Bridgeport – $164,000: Two classroom renovations, and furniture and equipment for four classrooms
- Clinton – $75,000: Playground equipment and surfacing, storage shed, classroom furniture and technology equipment
- Coventry – $150,000: Design and renovation of two classrooms and bathrooms, lighting, playground fencing and site work
- East Hartford – $150,000: Design and renovation of two classrooms
- East Haven – $148,055: Playground equipment and surfacing, security equipment, smart boards, technology equipment, storage shed and fencing
- Enfield – $150,000: Renovation of two classrooms, playground fencing, classroom equipment, playground equipment, smart board, technology equipment and a listening center
- Killingly – $75,000: Installation of a bathroom, classroom furniture, playground equipment and instructional equipment
- Norwich – $75,000: Classroom furniture for one classroom, installation of a bathroom and playground equipment
- Plainfield – $75,000: Bathroom renovations, technology equipment, smart board, playground fencing and equipment, HVAC upgrades, classroom furniture and equipment
- Stamford – $75,000: Bathroom installation, HVAC upgrades, classroom furniture, instructional equipment, and playground equipment
- Wallingford – $150,000: Classroom furniture, playground equipment, instructional equipment and technology equipment
- Windsor – $300,000: Installation of bathrooms, HVAC upgrades, classroom renovations, playground equipment, security equipment and classroom furniture
For more information about Smart Start, please visit the Office of Early Childhood website at www.ct.gov/oec/smartstart.
The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.