Governor Kathy Hochul announced the approval of 61 Smart Schools Investment Plans focused on reimagining education in an evolving age and boosting school security. The approved plans, totaling $31.4 million, are part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act, a sweeping education technology program.
“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,” Governor Hochul said. “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 Smart Schools Review Board met for the 19th time to consider investment plans submitted by school districts and special education schools. The Board is composed of the Director of the Budget, the Chancellor of the State University of New York, and the Commissioner of the State Education Department.
The plans approved by the 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.
The investments authorized will help ensure student safety and modernize classrooms statewide. High-tech security tools supported by the Smart Schools Bond Act include entry control systems, video systems, and emergency classroom notification systems. These upgrades are critical as the State and local partners work to bolster the safety of all public spaces.
New technology purchases supported by the Smart Schools Bond Act include computer servers, interactive whiteboards, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity. These tools help students to learn at their own pace, extend opportunities for interactive experiences both inside and outside the classroom, and promote parent-teacher communication.