In addition to choosing their governor and several other elected officials, voters in New York had a question on their ballots last week regarding the approval of a major bond sale to invest in tech education and facilities. With 48.9 percent of voters casting Yes votes and 30.4 percent against, the Smart Schools Bond Act passed comfortably.
The state will sell $2 billion in bonds through 2019, which it will invest in upgrading technological equipment in schools. The first $1 billion will come in the next fiscal year, with $350 million each of the next two years and the final $300 million in fiscal year 2018-19. With the influx of capital, school districts will be able to pay for computer upgrades, wireless internet and high-tech physical security systems.
While opponents countered that New York has more pressing areas for investment, supporters say that the money will go a long way toward preparing the younger generations for the future employment landscape, where a knowledge of computer science will be an essential requirement. The state wants to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the global business landscape as the STEM fields develop.
"New York City will receive a total of $783 million."
The money will be allocated to each district by population. New York City will receive a total of $783 million, which the Department of Education will use to create new pre-kindergarten classrooms and reduce class sizes at other levels.
The Smart Schools Bond Act is part of a large push on the part of city and state authorities to ensure that New York holds the preeminent position in the tech world that it does in so many other business areas.