New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to spend $2 billion on school technology appears to be gaining traction, the Journal News reported.
The proposal, which will be on the Nov. 4 ballot, would rely on bond money to upgrade technology throughout the state. If approved, districts could use the funds on equipment, security features, pre-k modernization and infrastructure upgrades that improve broadband and Wi-Fi, according to the Journal News.
Some, however, have voiced concern over borrowing funds for such a short-term purpose, and others have questioned whether the debt service payments would siphon funding away from other critical needs.
“Everything in the state budget competes against everything else,” Robert Lowry, deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents, told the Journal News. “Many districts face basic financial challenges, and this cannot distract from addressing those needs.”
But without the state aid, it’s unlikely many districts would be able to pay for the technology upgrades, others noted.
“In a perfect world, we probably shouldn't be bonding computer tablets,” New York State School Boards Association spokesman David Albert told the Journal News. “But if I have a choice between not having the money or funding it through this mechanism, it's more important to have it.”
The Journal News has published a breakdown of the funding per district.