“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.” Read More
In New York, the proposal is drawing criticism from those who say the state shouldn’t use scarce capital-financing capacity for equipment that may become obsolete or may not be used properly because of lack of training. E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy in Albany, a research group that advocates less government spending, said not every school district needs the money. “You’re putting cash on the table in front of bureaucrats saying use it or lose it, whether they need it or not,” McMahon said. Read More
"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." Read More
"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." Read More
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.* Read More
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. Read More
The Cuomo administration reportedly is talking with labor leaders about tapping public and private pension funds to help pay for state infrastructure projects, including a multi-billion-dollar replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge... Read More
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