State Grant Funding to Improve Emergency Communications in Seven Counties

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Posted: Monday, December 3, 2018 7:09 pm | Updated: 7:18 pm, Mon Dec 3, 2018.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced the approval of 58 Smart Schools Investment Plans, including $383 million for broadband and other technology upgrades in New York City schools. The funding is part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act, a sweeping initiative aimed at reimagining teaching and learning for the 21st century. The Act, first proposed by the Governor and overwhelmingly approved by voters as a 2014 ballot measure, is helping schools to equip students with the skills they need to thrive and succeed in the global economy.

"Through the Smart Schools Bond Act, we are bringing every classroom into the 21st century by equipping them with modern broadband and other technology and in the process knocking down barriers to inequality," said Governor Cuomo. "This funding will help ensure every child in New York has the tools they need to compete in the economy of the future."

Meeting for the eleventh time, the Smart Schools Review Board approved investment plans submitted by the New York City School District, 50 additional school districts and six special education schools.

New York City's $383 million technology investment plan, approved recently, budgets $250 million to expand and upgrade schools' digital networks to ensure the consistency of wired and wireless broadband connectivity. Network infrastructure equipment, including servers, wireless access points, wireless controllers, routers, switches and cabling, will be updated. This investment, coupled with other investments already underway, will allow all New York City school buildings to have access to broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or higher per 1,000 students.

New York City's approved technology plan also budgets $133 million for the purchase of technology devices to be used inside the classroom, including laptops, desktop computers, tablets, charging carts, and tools to integrate the devices into the network. The Smart Schools program will place special emphasis on ensuring upgrades in struggling and persistently struggling schools, expanding blended learning programs, and implementing the Computer Science for All initiative.

The investments approved are part of New York City's total allocation through the Smart Schools Bond Act of $783 million. In September, the Smart Schools Review Board approved the city's investment plan to use $400 million of its allocation to remove portable classroom units and construct pre-kindergarten classrooms.

At this meeting, the Smart Schools Review Board approved 57 additional plans from school districts and special education schools across the state. This includes 34 plans supporting $16 million in high-tech security projects, 24 plans that invest $8 million in classroom technology statewide, 22 plans that will support $7 million worth of school connectivity purchases, and one plan to spend $1.5 million on pre-kindergarten classroom space.

Plans approved to date by the Smart Schools Review Board total nearly $1.3 billion, supporting school districts in every region of the State.

SOURCE: Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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