Voters in 2014 approved a Cuomo-pushed $2 billion bond act designed to help local school districts purchase needed new technology. But to date, not a dime has been spent on the effort.
Who could be against “smart schools”?
The unsurprising answer: not nearly enough New Yorkers to defeat Proposal 3 on yesterday’s statewide ballot, which authorizes $2 billion in state borrowing to finance local school district purchases of computers and other classroom technology; expand schools’ high-speed and wireless Internet capacity; install “high-tech security features”; and build new classrooms for pre-kindergarten programs.
Proposition 3 would allow the state to borrow $2 billion for educational technology. It is supported by Cuomo and the teacher’s union. The Empire Center, a conservative think tank, has called it a “blank check” to the state’s education bureaucracy.
Dr. Amy Perry-DelCorvo, CEO of NYSCATE (NYS Association for Computers and Technologies in Education), and E.J. McMahon, senior fellow for Tax and Budgetary Studies at the Manhattan Institute and president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, debate the merits of New York’s ballot proposal #3, a bond act to fund technology for schools.
E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, joined John Gambling to discuss Prop 3.
Criticism of the $2 billion bond extends to the think tank The Empire Center for Public Policy, which refers to the Smart Schools Bond Act as full of "highly debatable promises."
Considering the state's already "enormous" debt burden, the center advises voter's take caution when thinking about voting on the bond.
“It's probably the most poorly conceived and wasteful bond proposal we've had in New York in over 20 years,” Empire Center President EJ McMahon said.
The proposal has its critics, including E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank.
McMahon said it is unwise to issue bonds to purchase high-tech equipment that will become obsolete with new technological advances, often within a period of a few years.
"It's as if the state had gone out and proposed a bond issue 50 years ago to buy overhead projectors and film-strip machines," McMahon said.