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Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 – Update

By December 5, 2014Uncategorized

From Carl Thurnau, P.E. from the November 2014 NYSED Office of Facilities Planning Newsletter:

The New York State Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 has been approved by New York State voters. This means a “smart schools bond fund” will be established in the amount of $2 billion to fund public school technology, pre-K construction, and security capital projects. To access funds, the Smart Schools Bond Act stipulates that school districts must submit a Smart Schools Investment Plan to the Smart Schools Review Board for review and approval. The Act further states that “in developing the plan, school districts shall consult with parents, teachers, students, community members, and other stakeholders.”

“Smart Schools Projects” (of which there are four subcategories of projects) will need to be included in the Investment plan to be eligible for a Smart Schools Bond Act Grant. The four project subcategories are

(1) pre-k construction or transportable replacement project;

(2) community connectivity project;

(3) classroom connectivity project; and

(4) school safety and technology project.

At this point, it is suggested that schools engage community stakeholders to determine the highest priority for bond funds in your community and begin to consider the elements of your Smart Schools Investment Plan. This process should be well documented.

More guidance will be forthcoming with specifics regarding the Investment Plan approval process and how Bond Act funds may be used in conjunction with other capital funds and any additional authorizations required. 

Individual school district allocations under the Bond Act can be viewed on their 2014-15 State Aid Projections at:

https://stateaid.nysed.gov/output_reports.htm  or on the Governor’s web site at:http://programs.governor.ny.gov/smart-schools-ny