Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announced approval of 96 Smart Schools Investment Plans aimed at improving school security and reimagining teaching and learning for the 21st century. The approved plans, totaling $85 million, are part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act overwhelmingly approved by voters. The investments will help ensure safety, modernize classrooms across New York, and equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the global economy.
“This funding ensures our schools have the tools and resources in place to provide a safe and modern environment to help students succeed,” Gallivan said. “Using technology to enhance security and to close the digital divide in our classrooms will make it possible for all students to excel in the classroom and compete in the 21st century.”
The Smart Schools Review Board considered 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 were submitted by 90 school districts and three special education schools. Projects include $26.3 million for high-tech security projects, $25.6 million for school connectivity projects, $18.5 million for classroom technology purchases, $9.9 million for pre-kindergarten classrooms, and $4.2 million for the removal of transportable classroom units (TCUs). Schools within the 59th NYS Senate District to receive funding include:
- Attica CSD $3,797 for school connectivity
- Depew UFSD $269,115 for high-tech security
- Eden CSD $294,930 for high-tech security
- Pavilion CSD $45,100 for high-tech security
With the Smart Schools Bond Act, school districts are investing in technology such as computer servers, interactive whiteboards, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity. This technology helps students to learn at their own pace, expands access to advanced courses and interactive curriculum, and enhances communication between parents and teachers. Investments in high-tech school security support the purchase of new equipment, such as high-resolution digital cameras to enhance districts' video surveillance capabilities, and other safety technology. Additional investments in the replacement of TCUs and construction of pre-kindergarten classrooms will help ensure that students learn in modern, updated spaces.
New York voters approved the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act in 2014.