The Smart Schools Bond Act was passed in New York State’s 2014-15 Enacted State Budget and was approved by the voters in a statewide referendum during the general election of November 2014. The Smart Schools Bond Act authorized the issuance of $2 billion of general obligation bonds to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to improve learning and opportunity for students throughout the state.
During the afternoon of May 11, 2016 the three-member Smart Schools Review Board convened in the Blue Room of the State Capitol. They were:
- The Chancellor of the State University of New York was represented by Elizabeth Brigsjord, SUNY Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Vice Provost
- The NYS Director of the Budget was represented by Joseph Conroy, DOB Chief Budget Examiner
- The Commissioner of Education was represented by Beth Berlin, SED Executive Deputy Commissioner
The Review Board approved Smart Schools Investment Plans for 52 school districts, amounting to $44.8 million, across six allowable program categories as follows:
1.) School Connectivity – Included in 21 plans, amounting to $15.1 million
2.) Community Connectivity – Included in 21 plans, amounting to $23, 385
3.) Classroom Technology – Included in 2 plans, amounting to $25.7 million
4.) Pre-K Classrooms – Included in none of the approved plans
5.) Replace Transportable Classrooms – Included in none of the approved plans
6.) High-Tech Security – Included in 12 plans, amounting to $4.0 million
The listing of the 52 school districts, including their approved budgets is available here. For more information about the Smart Schools Bond Act contact James Viola, Director of Government Relations at JViola@saanys.org.