Smart Schools Funds
The funds received by the State from the bond act are used by school districts for capital projects related to educational technology equipment, including but not limited to interactive whiteboards; computer servers; tablets, desktop and laptop computers; high-speed broadband or wireless internet connectivity for schools and communities; capital projects to construct, enhance or modernize educational facilities to accommodate pre-kindergarten programs and provide instructional space to replace transportable classroom units; and capital projects to install high-tech security features in school buildings and on school campuses.
Smart Schools Investment PlanDistricts are required to submit a “Smart Schools Investment Plan” to the Smart Schools Review Board which is comprised of the education commissioner, the state budget director, and the chancellor of the State University of New York. The plan will describe how the district will use the Smart Schools Bond Act funds. In developing such investment plans, school districts are required to consult with parents, teachers, students, community members and other stakeholders. The district may not receive a Smart Schools Grant until the review board approves their plan.
Allocation Methodology of Bond Act Proceeds
Each school district has already been given the amount of their potential allocation from the bond act. The State budget included a formula which was used to make district allocations and provides that each school district’s percentage of the $2 billion bond act will be based on the district’s percentage of formula school aid (excluding Building Aid, Universal Pre-k, and the Gap Elimination Adjustment) in 2013-14. For example, if a district’s school aid was 1 percent of the state total school aid then the district would be eligible for a $20,000,000 allocation (1 percent of the $2 billion) from the bond act.