schmidt1-150x150-6945497Eric 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.*

Schmidt provided this quote for the governor’s press release:

“To prepare today’s students to compete in the global innovation economy, schools need to provide modern educational environments that include the latest technology. New York State’s efforts to upgrade classrooms with critical infrastructure like high-speed broadband and to equip students with digital devices are welcome first steps in achieving that goal.”

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? By pumping more dollars for tech purchases into what’s already America’s best-funded K-12 education system, the proposed $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act will expand an important market for Google, which competes with Apple and Microsoft to sell laptops, tablet computers and other devices to schools. Did this somehow escape the governor’s notice?

Oddly enough, the two other new appointees to the Smart Schools Commission are not named Tim Cook or Bill Gates.  They are Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO for Harlem Children’s Zone, and Constance Evelyn, Superintendent of the Auburn School District in Cayuga County.

New Yorkers will have the final say on whether to create more customers for Google borrow $2 billion to buy more computers, whiteboards and other tech stuff for schools in a statewide referendum in November.

* The original version of this post erroneously stated that Schmidt would chair the commission.  He won’t — he’s just one of the members.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

Emergency Billions Pose Opportunity—and Risk—for NYS Schools

New York schools are to post publicly today plans for spending a huge pile of unexpected and unbudgeted cash. Read More

Empire State’s new budget is a bridge to nowhere

Looking ahead to an uncertain post-pandemic recovery, New York’s newly enacted state budget for fiscal year 2022 raises spending by staggering amounts that—barring an unlikely rapid return to peak 2019 economic activity in New York City—can't possibly be sustained for more than a few years. The budget is a mid-2020s fiscal disaster in the making: an incomplete bridge over a deepening river of red ink. Read More

NYC Turns from Rewarding Failure in Schools to Punishing Success

Mayor de Blasio began his tenure by rewarding New York City’s worst-performing schools with added funding. He’s now set to end it by punishing the city’s best. Read More

Thanks to Unions, NYC’s School Reopening Deal Was Costly and Educationally Hazardous

New York City schools reopened this fall under terms dictated by the city's teacher and principal unions. Now, as city schools close -- once more at the unions' behest -- the city is left with thousands of extra teachers hi Read More

On Measuring School Quality, Education Week Misses the Mark

Education Week’s rankings do not measure what counts. New York’s substandard achievement coupled with highest-in-the-nation spending and above-average wealth means that when it comes to school quality, New York fails to pass the mark. Read More

Even After Aid Cut, New York Will Spend Most on Education

If New York was a country in 2016—the most recent year for global education spending data—it would have boasted the highest per pupil expenditure in the world, even after subtracting 20 percent of state aid. Read More

Carve-outs prevail in “wage” bill

A “prevailing wage” expansion in Governor Cuomo’s budget is riddled with carve-outs—and new discretionary power for the governor. Read More

Rochester schools: bad to worse

There's good news and bad news about Rochester schools from a new study comparing the variation in educational quality within urban educational systems. The good news: measured by standardized pupil proficiency scores, there's only an 8.6 percentage point gap between good and bad schools in Rochester. The bad news: even Rochester's good schools—those in the 75th percentile—have the lowest proficiency scores among the 68 largest urban school systems in the country. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!