On September 14, 2023, Assemblyman John McDonald and Senator Jake Ashby visited Red Mill Elementary School for a press conference to celebrate the increase in state aid funding. Questar III BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Gladys Cruz was in attendance, along with East Greenbush CSD Superintendent Jeff Simmons and other administration.
New York State schools were provided with a historic high of $34.5 Billion through the New York State Budget this year. East Greenbush Central School District is using part of its funds to support Early Childhood Education/Pre-K through Questar III BOCES.
“There is nothing more critical than investing in the education of our state’s children,” Assemblyman John McDonald said. “Each year, myself and my Assembly colleagues work tirelessly to advocate for our schools to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality public education. The funding from this year’s enacted budget will be transformative.”
Questar III BOCES has operated Pre-K programs for more than 25 years but has seen significant growth in the past 4 – a 120% increase to be exact. In the past 4 years, Questar III BOCES has gone from providing 5 to 11 Pre-K programs, serving nearly 200 students in Berlin, Catskill, Cairo-Durham, East Greenbush, Hudson, and Ichabod Crane. East Greenbush CSD specifically offers Questar III BOCES Pre-K services at Red Mill, Donald P. Sutherland, Genet and Green Meadow Elementary Schools, serving 97 students.
“These district-based programs prepare students intellectually, socially, and psychologically for Kindergarten, and set the stage for future learning,” said Questar III BOCES District Superintendent, Dr. Gladys Cruz. “In today’s high-tech world, Pre-K programs are more important than ever. After all, research has shown that children learn more in their first five years of life than during any other period.”