The purpose of this proposal is to authorize the creation of state debt and the sale of state bonds in the amount of up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) to provide money for the single purpose of improving learning and opportunity for public and nonpublic school students in New York.
This proposal would allow the State to borrow up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000). This money would be expended on capital projects related to the design, planning, site acquisition, demolition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or acquisition or installation of equipment for the following types of projects:
1) To acquire learning technology equipment or facilities including, but not limited to,
a) Interactive whiteboards,
b) Computer servers, and
c) Desktop, laptop, and tablet computers;
2) To install high-speed broadband or wireless internet connectivity for schools and communities;
3) To construct, enhance, and modernize educational facilities to accommodate pre-kindergarten programs and provide instructional space to replace transportable classroom units; and
4) To install high-tech security features in school buildings and on school campuses.
The State Legislature would be authorized to make the bond proceeds available to fund the cost of approved capital projects undertaken by or on behalf of school districts for these purposes.
The proposal also would allow the State to refund the debt to take advantage of lower interest rates if the opportunity arises. To accomplish this, the proposal authorizes the State Comptroller to issue additional state bonds in sums up to or exceeding the amount of the bonds initially issued to refund, to advance refund, or otherwise to repay part or all of such bonds prior to the scheduled dates of their maturity.
The SMART SCHOOLS BOND ACT OF 2014, as set forth in section one of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2014, authorizes the sale of state bonds of up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) to provide access to classroom technology and high-speed internet connectivity to equalize opportunities for children to learn, to add classroom space to expand high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, to replace classroom trailers with permanent instructional space, and to install high-tech smart security features in schools. Shall the SMART SCHOOLS BOND ACT OF 2014 be approved?