Franklin Square schools will add 75 spots for full-day pre-K students during the upcoming school year due to $400,000 worth of funding in the state’s budget, pushed for by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, allocated for expanded pre-K.
The New York State Senate estimates that the 13% spike in state funding for pre-K expansion across Long Island will serve 5,200 new preschoolers.
“Strengthening the school district is integral to ensuring that Franklin Square remains a wonderful place to live and raise a family,” said Kaminsky, who adding that his “top priority” is to ensure each student on Long Island has access to high-quality education. “They deserve nothing less,” he said.
The prospect of expanding pre-K in Franklin Square and across Long Island is often met by a concern about the price tag – in the form of higher taxes – that comes along with a universal pre-K program. Kaminsky, however, views the expansion of pre-K in Franklin Square as an economic boon.
"This historic investment I helped secure to bring expanded pre-K to Long Island — along with the more than $9.8 million I secured in total state funding for Franklin Square schools — will help lower the tax burden on Long Island families,” Kaminsky argues.
“Importantly, the more money our community's schools receive from Albany, the less local taxpayers are called upon to shoulder the financial burden."
Kaminsky also sees the expanded pre-K program as a solution to a problem that has affected working-class amid the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought serious challenges to many essential workers and their families, who had to choose between going to work and taking care of their children,” Kaminsky explained.
Universal pre-K is the answer to this problem, according to Kaminsky.
“With expanded pre-K in place for Long Island families, that dilemma will be avoided. Parents will be able to go to work, knowing that their kids are being well-cared for while reaping the benefits of a quality education,” he said.
Expanding pre-K will serve as an economic boost as Long Island reemerges from the coronavirus pandemic, according to Kaminsky.
"Pre-K is key to fostering Long Island's recovery from COVID-19,” Kaminsky said of the universal pre-K program. “The research is clear: early childhood education pays dividends down the line, setting our students up for success. By bringing pre-K to Franklin Square schools for the first time this fall, we can foster the growth of our children in and out of the classroom and prepare our students for the demands of the 21st century and beyond."
To Kaminsky, who has pushed for expanding pre-K in Malverne and West Hempstead, too, focusing on education is crucial to Long Island’s future. The universal pre-K program coming to Franklin Square is just one step in that direction.
"An investment in our children's education is an investment in our future. When we ensure our kids and teachers have the wherewithal they need to thrive, we are laying a solid foundation for decades to come,” Kaminsky said.