Tag: Proposal 3 (2014)

This proposal doesn’t make much sense. Taxpayers are being asked to pay principal and interest on debt well beyond the life of iPads, laptops and other computer and technology equipment. E.J. McMahon, president of the fiscal-watchdog Empire Center, agrees: “Cuomo seems to rely on an arbitrary number and would pay for technology that will be outdated and useless before the state’s indebtedness is even paid off.” Read More

The fiscally conservative Empire Center seems to be the only group actively lobbying on behalf of the bond proposal—and the think tank is decidedly against it. “The annual payments on $2 billion in bonds could ultimately come to more than $130 million a year,” E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, wrote in an op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Post. “A far better way to ‘equalize opportunities to learn’ would be to spend that money on added annual aid to public and charter schools serving the state’s neediest children.” Read More

Local school boards and superintendents “are all over the map on” Proposal 3, the ballot initiative that would let the state borrow $2 billion for distribution to schools that want to buy new computers and build pre-kindergarten classrooms. So says Dr. Merryl H. Tisch—and as chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, she ought to know. Read More

On Election Day, New York voters will be asked to let the state borrow up to $2 billion to help public schools buy computer hardware they don’t urgently need and create space for pre-kindergarten programs that most districts outside New York City can’t afford. 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

E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, said the bond act — with its spend-now-or-kiss-it-goodbye philosophy — could lead to wasteful spending. Some of the investment, McMahon fears, could be used on technology that becomes obsolete before the bonds are paid off. "You are pressing money on districts to buy stuff they may not need," he said. "It's free money for items that could be a low priority. It's bound to be inefficient, and uses up the state's scarce capital borrowing capacity." Read More