New York State Smart Schools Bond Act
Q: What is the Smart School Bond Act?
A: The Smart Schools Bond Act was passed as part of the 2014-15 Enacted Budget.(L. 2014, ch. 56, Parts B and C). The Smart Schools Bond Act authorized the issuance of $2 Billion of general obligation bonds to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to improve learning and opportunity for students throughout New York State. The Smart Schools Bond Act must be approved by a statewide vote before it becomes effective.
Q: What did the ballot questions say?
A: The ballot question reads:
The SMART SCHOOLS BOND ACT OF 2014, as forth in section one of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2014, authorizes the sale of state bonds of up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) to provide access to classroom technology and high-speed internet connectivity to equalize opportunities for children to learn, to add classroom space to expand high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, to replace the classroom trailers with permanent instructional space and to install high-tech smart security feature sin schools. Shall the SMART SCHOOLS BOND ACT OF 2014 be approved?
The Bond Act was approved on November 4, 2014.
Q: How much funding would my school district be eligible for?
A: Mechanicville City School District is eligible for $884,252
Q: What type of project will be eligible for funding?
A: Proceeds may be used for Capital Projects to:
- Acquire learning technology equipment for facilities, including but not limited to interactive whiteboards, computer servers, and desktop, laptop and tablet computers:
- Install high-speed broadband or wireless internet connectivity for schools and communities;
- Construct, enhance and modernize educational facilities to accommodate pre-kindergarten programs and provide instructional space to replace classroom trailers; and
- Install high-tech security features in school building and on school campuses, including but not limited to video surveillance, emergency notification systems and physical access controls.
Q: Will Mechanicville City School District's Smart Schools allocation expire if it is not used within a certain period?
A: No, a district's Smart Schools allocation does not need to be used by a certain date. If the allocation is not used in one school year, it can be carried over to the next school year.
Q: Can Mechanicville use spending from it's Smart Schools allocation as the local share to generate other types of State School Aids, such as Building Aid?
A: No, expenditures from the Smart Schools allocation may not be used to generate other types of State School Aid.
Q: How will Mechanicville apply for and receive the Smart Schools funding?
A: As outline above, each district must submit a Smart Schools Investment Plan to the Smart Schools Review Board for approval. The Smart Schools Review Board may approve the plan, reject the plan, or return the plan to school district for modifications.
Once the Smart Schools Investment Plan is approved, the school district will be eligible to begin receiving grants funds, up to the amount of its Smart Schools allocation amount, to reimburse cost of the approved projects. The State Education Department will administer the grant funds.
Currently we are awaiting further promulgations providing guidance regarding the application process. As more information is forthcoming we will share that and incorporate it into our facilities and school budget planning.
Any additional questions can be directed to SSBA@Mechanicville.org.