Governor Approves 154 Smart Schools Investment Plans

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Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017 2:36 pm | Updated: 9:34 am, Wed Jul 19, 2017.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced approval of 154 Smart Schools Investment Plans aimed at reimagining teaching and learning for the 21st century. The approved plans, totaling $103.2 million, are part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act, a sweeping education technology initiative first proposed by the Governor and overwhelmingly approved by voters. The investments authorized will modernize classrooms across New York and equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the global economy.

"By investing in modern technology for classrooms across the state, we expand educational opportunity, increase student engagement, boost achievement, and close the digital divide," said Governor Cuomo. "This funding equips students with the skills and technology they need to succeed in the modern economy and build a stronger New York for all."

The Smart Schools Review Board met for the fifth time to consider investment plans submitted by school districts. The Board is comprised 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 were submitted by 136 school districts and 8 special education schools. Projects include $43.3 million for school connectivity projects, $40.6 million for classroom technology purchases, $15.6 million for high-tech security projects, and $3.7 million to construct pre-kindergarten classrooms and to replace transportable classrooms.

In 2014, Governor Cuomo called for New York State to invest $2 billion in its schools through a Smart Schools Bond Act, an initiative that would finance educational technology and infrastructure, providing students access to the latest technology and connectivity needed to succeed and compete in the 21st century economy. New Yorkers agreed, as the voters authorized the Smart Schools Bond Act that November.

Following the proposal of the Bond Act, Governor Cuomo established the Smart Schools Commission to gather information on strategies for how schools can most effectively invest the bond funds. This advisory commission produced a final report recommending a focus on expanding robust broadband and wireless connectivity and utilizing transformative technologies. The plans approved today by the Smart Schools Review Board reflect many of the best practices identified by the Commission.

SOURCE: Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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