HERKIMER, N.Y. – Herkimer school officials hoping to extend the district's pre-kindergarten program with the help of state funds will have to wait another year.
District Superintendent Robert Miller said in an email Tuesday that the extended pre-K funding offered this year was "devoted to expanding or developing programs for 3-year-old children. Our current Pre K program is for 4-year-old children and we do not have space for expanding to a younger age in our elementary building."
Earlier this year, Miller said the district had been denied by the state in its grant request to extend the pre-K program to include a full-day class for the past three years.
The district currently has two half-day programs. In 2013-14, the district funded its own yearlong, full-day program.
"We did discuss housing such a program at St. Francis but they were also unable to accommodate the added students due to space restrictions," said Miller. "We will continue to look to the state in subsequent years for funding to expand our pre-k programs."
Miller said in a May 29 Times Telegram article that "[r]esearch shows that one of the best ways to effectively reduce educational gaps in our children is through early intervention programs. A full day pre-k program is one such program that will help to narrow the gaps between our incoming kindergarten students."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo included in his 2016-17 budget plan an additional $22 million investment to expand "high quality half-day and full-day programs to three-year-olds in the highest need school districts," according to state Division of Budget website.