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2020 budget calls for education at all levels

Gov. Phil Murphy’s 2020 budget calls for ramping two of his signature education proposals: The Pre-K-for-all program and expanded access to community college.

The budget calls for $68 million put into the Pre-K program. Murphy also wants to allocate $35.5 million more into the community college opportunity grant program, aimed at providing tuition-free county college enrollment to some of New Jersey’s neediest residents

According to budget documents, the allocation is expected to expand the program from 13 to 19 county colleges, and reach 6,000 more students than last year for a total of 18,000 students.

“The governor is still committed to tuition free community college. This is a meaningful step up from last year in that we’re expanding to all 19 community colleges in New Jersey,” said a senior administration official. “It’s a meaningful step forward, he’s still committed to his goal, and he’s also committed to the broader goal of college affordability.”

For underserved populations, the budget allocates an additional $20 million to ensure degree completion. The budget gives a $2.25 million boost to the Educational Opportunity Fund as well, and $5 million more for tuition aid grants.

Murphy campaigned heavily on both proposals, and achieved limited versions of both programs during last year’s budget.

Daniel J. Munoz contributed to this report.

Gabrielle Saulsbery
Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.

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