New York Voters Pass $two Billion ‘Smart Schools’ Tech Bond


Historical past was made yesterday in New York when voters accepted the Sensible Colleges Bond Act, which will permit $ 2 billion to be spent on what Governor Andrew Cuomo says will deliver the state’s outdated public school classrooms into the 21st century.

Enhancements will consist of making a lot more usable area, installing far better security, and buying new equipment for teachers this kind of as iPads and interactive whiteboards. Governing‘s Liz Farmer reports that the borrowed income will permit for the expanding of schools for the addition of new pre-kindergarten courses, as well as big technology upgrades such as high-speed broadband or wireless net and extra educational technologies gear.

The result was touted as a mandate even though a tiny less than half the voters cast an affirmative vote. A easy majority was not met given that one in 5 voters left the decision blank on their ballots.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo backed the bond referendum, so this win, along with his his election to a second phrase, created the midterm election a great a single for the state’s highest officer. Cuomo promoted the act employing info from a 2010 research, Undertaking RED, sponsored by Intel, Apple, Qwest Communications, and eChalk. The study found that much more technological innovation in colleges could decrease the number of students dropping out of school and the need to have for disciplinary actions.

The research also located that a lot more engineering could help improve students’ overall performance on standardized testing and would put together them for large-skilled jobs. Supporters also saw the measure as a way to shut the engineering gap amongst wealthy and poorer college districts.

Opponents of the act countered that the massive expense incurred would not be paid back until extended soon after the technological gear bought grew to become obsolete. They added that there have been a lot more critical demands for capital paying, like repairing bridges and highways, and even much more importantly, minimizing the state’s current inordinate debt burden.

The $ 2 billion will be divided between the 675 college districts in the state based on the state funding formula. The formula uses data like pupil population and home incomes in each and every district, writes Leslie Brody of The Wall Street Journal. Then, every district establishes a proposal guided by the specs of the bond act, which will be subject to approval by the state. In accordance to the formula, New York City will be receiving $ 783 million, which it intends to use for adding prekindergarten classrooms and producing 4,900 other seats in buy to minimize class sizes. The two of these tasks fall underneath the guidelines of the funding.

In one more piece by Liz Farmer for Governing, written just before the election, the specter of Los Angeles’s much-criticized iPad failure loomed big. The city was criticized for making use of extended-term building bonds to spend for the 1st part of its program aimed at distributing an iPad to each student in the Los Angeles Unified College District. Prior to the plan in fact received began, the plan was put on hold due to a contracting scandal, but just before that occurred, Matt Fabian, an analyst with the research company Municipal Marketplace Advisers, stated that financial institution loans and other quick-phrase instruments like leases had been utilised for quick-daily life assets.

Also on the ballot in New York yesterday was Proposal one, searching for approval for shifting New York’s drawing of political boundaries, which was also approved, reviews the Glens Falls Submit-Star. A commission of 10 will draw lines of congressional and state legislative districts every 10 many years based on up to date Census figures. Proposition 2 was also approved by voters, authorizing their 213 legislators to assess legislation electronically as an alternative of depending on paper copies — the “thick stack of bills” they are assigned to read – which proponents say will save trees, conserve millions of dollars in printing charges and increase efficiency.

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