“The bond act ultimately isn’t about the desirability of classroom technology or pre-K expansions — although both are certainly debatable,” E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center said in a statement he issued Monday. “The core issue raised by Proposal 3 is whether a state general obligation bond issue, even one with a relatively short ‘weighted average’ duration of 10 to 20 years, is the best way of paying for a combination of short-lived tech and long-lived buildings, when existing annual state aid categories already subsidize both without testing the state’s bond limits.”
"If you spend on those things," added Empire Center for Public Policy's E.J. McMahon Monday, "you have to keep spending more, and raise taxes again year after year after year — to support the tech, to get the curriculum to use it, to train teachers on how to use it."
"By definition, it's use it or lose it," said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy. "It's the worst possible way to spend money. And it some districts, it will be free money for low-priority items."
New York’s newly enacted state budget includes what looks like the biggest, juiciest capital pork pie Albany has cooked up since before the Great Recession. The State and Municipal Facilities Program first popped out of the budget oven last year in the form of a $385 million appropriation, of which $26.65 million was spent.
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, has been named by Governor Cuomo to a commission “charged with advising the State on how to best invest the Governor’s proposed $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act in order to enhance teaching and learning through technology,” as announced by the governor’s office today.*