New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the approval of 48 Smart Schools Investment Plans that are making investments in school technology and working to improve school security.

The approved plans, totaling $13.2 million, are part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act – an education technology program that supports classroom technology, school connectivity, and high-tech security.

“Investing in our children’s education is critical to not only building foundations for individual success, but ensuring our future leaders are prepared to guide New York forward,” Gov. Hochul said. “The Smart Schools Bond Act supports schools across New York State in that effort by providing students with a safe, secure and enlightening environment.”

During its most recent meeting, the Smart Schools Review Board considered and approved investment plans submitted by school districts and special education schools. The board is composed of the New York State Budget Director, the Chancellor of the State University of New York, and the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department.

“The Smart Schools Bond Act investments are crucial in providing the technology to engage students in learning regardless of modality, and enhancing security systems to keep them safe within their school communities,” said State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “This funding is vital in our commitment to ensuring that every student in our state has equitable access to a high-quality education.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the plans approved by the board were submitted by 45 school districts and one special education school. Projects include $7.9 million for high-tech security, $4.7 million for classroom technology, $356,000 for school connectivity, and $275,000 for nonpublic schools’ classroom technology and school connectivity.

The investments authorized by the board will aid in modernizing classrooms and school security statewide. High-tech security tools supported by the Smart Schools Bond Act include entry control systems, video systems, and emergency classroom notification systems. These upgrades will enhance the safety of New York’s schools, helping to ensure that students are able to learn in a secure environment.

According to the governor’s office, new technology purchases supported by the Smart Schools Bond Act include computer servers, interactive whiteboards, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity. Gov. Hochul’s office added that “these tools will provide students with a range of different avenues for understanding new information, expand student learning both inside and outside the classroom, and promote parent-teacher communication.”

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