The state of New York has allocated $31.4 million to upgrade security and technology at more than 50 school districts.
Funding from the Smart Schools Bond Act supports technology purchases such as computer servers, interactive whiteboards, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity. High-tech security tools supported by the Act include entry control systems, video systems, and emergency classroom notification systems.
"Inefficient technology was a huge hurdle during the Covid-19 pandemic--perhaps nowhere more evident than in our schools--and our students' educational and social experiences suffered," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news release. "This $31.4 million investment will allow students to access the technology to bring them the opportunity to learn at their own pace while providing interactive experiences both inside and outside of the classroom."
The plans approved by the Smart Schools Review Board were submitted by 57 school districts and one special education school. Projects include $16.6 million for high-tech security, $7.2 million for classroom technology, $7.1 million for school connectivity, and $500,000 for nonpublic schools' classroom technology and school connectivity.
New York voters approved the Smart Schools Bond Act in 2014. It authorized the issuance of $2 billion in bonds to support educational technology and infrastructure.
Following the proposal of the Bond Act, the Smart Schools Commission was established to gather information on strategies for how schools can most effectively invest the bond funds. This advisory commission recommended a focus on expanding robust broadband and wireless connectivity and using transformative technologies.