New York State announced it has approved $59.9 million for school technology upgrades statewide. The funding will go to 78 Smart Schools Investment Plans, which were approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The funding is part of the larger $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act, approved by New York voters in 2014. The approved plans were submitted by 72 school districts and 2 special education schools. The Governor’s office said that projects include $21.2 million for high-tech security, $16.7 million for school connectivity, $14.6 million for classroom technology, and $1.1 million for nonpublic schools’ classroom technology and school connectivity.

“The pandemic has been a sobering reminder about the inequities that continue to persist across the education system – disparities that the Smart Schools Bond Act is specifically designed to address,” Jim Malatras, chancellor of the State University of New York, said.

“[The] approval of nearly $60 million for technology upgrades will provide students across more than 70 school districts with everything from tablets and computers to high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity,” Malatras continued. “Today, these are the essential tools that all students need to learn, thrive, and eventually advance to college – whether they’re remote learning from an apartment in New York City or resuming in-person instruction at a small school in rural Upstate New York.”

School districts can use the funding to purchase technology such as computer servers, interactive whiteboards, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity. In a statement, the Governor’s office said that of the $14.6 million in classroom technology expenditures approved, districts have allocated $8.8 million for the purchase of laptops and tablets. Schools will also use the money to purchase high-tech school security, such as emergency notification systems and other safety technology.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs