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Voters approve $2 billion ‘Smart Schools’ bond

| November 5, 2014

New York voters have approved a $2 billion bond referendum that will provide each school district with funding for new educational technology and infrastructure improvements that could also include classroom space for prekindergarten programs.

The “Smart Schools Bond Act” — or Proposition 3, for its position on the ballot — was first proposed in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address in January 2014. Following its approval by the Legislature, school districts were informed of the amount of Smart Schools funding they will receive if voters approve the referendum.

The proposed allocation of Smart Schools funding for the North Colonie Central School District would be $1,838,380.

The bond funding could be used for the purchase of classroom technology, such as interactive whiteboards and tablets; technology infrastructure, such as high-speed broad band, wireless capabilities or servers; to construct, enhance or modernize educational facilitates, either related to the state’s full-day prekindergarten initiative or to replace transportable classroom units that are being used; and to install high-tech security features in schools or on campuses.

Each school district will be required to submit a Smart Schools Investment Plan to a Smart Schools Review Board, comprised of the chancellor of the State University of New York, the state budget director and the commissioner of education.

This Smart Schools Review Board is also charged with issuing guidelines regarding these district investment plans, including the timeline for submissions. One requirement that is known at this point is that school districts will be required to consult with parents, teachers, community members and others when developing their Smart Schools Investment Plans.

Click here to read a question and answer piece on the Smart Schools Bond Act.

Some content courtesy of Capital Region BOCES School Communications Portfolio; Copyright 2014; All rights reserved. For more information or permission to use, call 518-464-3960.

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