New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to spend $2 billion to update the state’s technology for public schools, especially those in lower-income communities where nearly two-thirds of children do not have computers at home.
Cuomo mentioned the initiative Wednesday as part of his annual State of the State speech.
The money would be made available through a bond act, something the state’s voters would have to approve before being made a reality. It could be put on the ballot in this November’s election.
“There are some schools where the most sophisticated equipment they have is the metal detector on the way to the classroom, and that is just wrong,” Cuomo said. “Some schools have the Internet, some schools don’t even have a basketball net.”
He continued: “What this new technology means, it means that every child learns that his or her own pace. The students get the skills they need to succeed within the 21st-century economy, the y have access to advanced courses, parents and teachers can communicate and teachers can access the assistance and training that they need. It is not going to be about growing the bureaucracy it’s going to be about helping student.”
Cuomo proposed the borrowing to pay for computers, tablets, high-speed broadband and wireless Internet connections in schools.
“Technology is already part of our students’ lives. It should be part of their education,” said state schools Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner John King Jr. “The governor’s plan will make every classroom a 21st-century classroom.”
In his speech, Cuomo also proposed substantial bonuses for highly effective teachers and continued to push for prekindergarten statewide.
His higher-education measures would provide full scholarships for promising math and science students and create the nation’s first homeland security college.