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Smart Schools Bond (New York)

 
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    CFDA#

    None
     

    Funder Type

    State Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award

    Authority

    New York State Education Department (NYSED)

    Summary

    The Smart Schools Bond Act authorized the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to improve learning and opportunity for students throughout the State. The purpose of these funds is to improve learning and opportunity for public and nonpublic school students by funding capital projects to:

    • Install high-speed broadband or wireless internet connectivity for schools and communities;
    • Acquire learning technology equipment or facilities, including but not limited to interactive whiteboards, computer servers, and desktop, laptop, and tablet computers;
    • Construct, enhance, and modernize educational facilities to accommodate prekindergarten programs and to provide instructional space to replace classroom trailers; and/or
    • Install high-tech security features in school buildings and on school campuses, including but not limited to video surveillance, emergency notification systems, and physical access controls.

    All districts will be required to submit a Smart Schools Investment Plan to demonstrate how Smart Schools Bond Act funds will be used to provide the educational tools and opportunities students throughout New York State will need to succeed in the 21st century economy. Effective plans should:

    • Include linkages between the district's long-term educational planning and technology investments;
    • Provide learning opportunities beyond the classroom through the use of technology; and
    • Address the educational needs of all students, including students with disabilities, English language learners and those who have not succeeded in traditional classroom settings.

    Categories of Eligible Capital Projects include:

    • Installing high-speed broadband or wireless internet connectivity for schools and communities.
      • School InstallationThe Smart Schools Bond Act supports school districts' efforts to connect their school buildings to high-speed broadband that enables technology-enabled and digital instruction and learning. Districts can and should use their allocations to equip their classrooms and school buildings with robust broadband infrastructure and bandwidth to sustain their current and projected operational needs and support growing educational demands.
      • Community Installation: With forethought and planning, education technology and internet access can help expand students' learning opportunities outside of the school day and school building. In recognition of the need to expand connectivity beyond the walls of school buildings, the Smart Schools Bond Act allows districts to use funds for community connectivity projects.
    • Acquiring learning technology equipment or facilities, including but not limited to interactive whiteboards, computer servers, and desktop, laptop, and tablet computers. Eligible items include, but are not limited to, interactive whiteboards, computer servers, and desktop, laptop, and tablet computers. Some projects will require additional wiring and/or other capital expenses in order to successfully operate the new devices. These expenses are also eligible under the Smart Schools Bond Act, but those expenses must be listed under the School Connectivity category.
    • Constructing, enhancing, and modernizing educational facilities to accommodate prekindergarten programs and provide instructional space to replace classroom trailers.
      • Prekindergarten ProgramsFunds may only be used to construct, enhance or modernize education facilities to accommodate pre-kindergarten programs. Districts will explain and substantiate their expected prekindergarten expansion as part of their Smart Schools Investment Plans. 
      • Instructional space to replace classroom trailersThe Smart Schools Bond Act provides funds for the expansion or construction of adequate, appropriate and permanent instructional space to replace transportable classroom units.
      • Installing high-tech security features in school buildings and on school campuses, including but not limited to video surveillance, emergency notification systems, and physical access controls. There are two types of review processes under this category: standard and streamlined. Both types must undergo the Preliminary Review Process with the New York State Education Department's Office of Facilities Planning. The Office of Facilities Planning will determine whether a project is appropriate for streamlined review.
    • Security Projects: This includes:
      • Standard Review Process: These projects require installation of new wiring or other construction projects to support the security investments. These projects will require approval by the Office of Facilities Planning.
      • Streamlined Review Process: These projects support certain limited door hardening, or building entrance security features, similar to the types of improvements approved through the Safe Schools Act, will not require a formal capital project review and approval through the Office of Facilities Planning. Acceptable items for the streamlined review and approval process include:
        • Acceptable electronic security systems.
        • Access control systems. These may include:
          • An intercom to speak with visitors;
          • Remote electronic door unlatching systems;
          • Cameras;
          • Interface with the building management system; and
          • Central lock-down buttons.
        • Acceptable door hardening items:
          • Door replacement;
          • Door hardware replacement;
          • Door frame replacement;
          • Sidelight removal;
          • Sidelight frame replacement;
          • Change size of door or window vision panels to limit opening size;
          • Change door or sidelight glass materials;
          • Bars, grills or other protective measures over existing glass to prevent access; and
          • Glass films, including security films or tinted films.
     

    History of Funding

    None is available.

    Additional Information

    The Smart Schools Review Board will review each district plan for alignment with the goals in this guidance document and ensure the plan contains all critical elements necessary for the long-term success of this program. Critical elements of a successful plan include:

    • Demonstration of Need: Smart Schools Investment Plans must demonstrate that the district has taken a strategic approach to understanding and meeting the needs of its students. For projects that create additional space for prekindergarten instruction or replace transportable classroom units with permanent space, districts will demonstrate that the proposed projects are consistent with enrollment projections and will be used to create high-quality instructional space for the students who will be served there. Security projects will require a description of the work to be done and the need it will meet. For technology projects, districts will confirm that the proposed technology purchases will be aligned with the district's instructional technology plans.
    • Adequate Technological Infrastructure: In order for students and faculty to receive the maximum benefit from the technology made available under the Smart Schools Bond Act, their school buildings must possess sufficient connectivity infrastructure to ensure that devices can be used during the school day. Smart Schools Investment Plans must demonstrate that sufficient infrastructure that meets the Federal Communications Commission's 100 Mbps per 1,000 students standard currently exists in the buildings where new devices will be deployed, or is a planned use of a portion of Smart Schools Bond Act funds, or is under development through another funding source. Achieving this speed standard is a precondition for the purchase of devices as described further in the school connectivity section.
    • Professional Development: The district must describe a plan to provide professional development to ensure administrators, teachers and staff can employ the technology purchased with funds from the Smart Schools Bond Act to enhance instruction successfully. Districts will demonstrate that they have contacted the SUNY teacher preparation program that supplies the largest number of their new teachers to request advice on this issue. Please note that Smart Schools Bond funds may not be used for professional development.
    • Technical Support: The district should provide sufficient on-going tech support to ensure that the technology (hardware and/or educational technology-related infrastructure) purchased with funds from the Smart Schools Bond Act will be distributed, prepared for use, maintained and supported appropriately. Please note that Smart Schools Bond funds may not be used for technical support. Districts are encouraged to work through BOCES for technical support.
    • Sustainability: As part of their Smart Schools Investment Plans, districts are required to demonstrate a long-term plan to physically maintain the investments made under the Smart Schools Bond Act in a useful condition. This sustainability plan will demonstrate a district's capacity to support the recurring costs of use, for which Smart Schools Bond Act funds may not be used. These recurring costs include, but are not limited to, issues such as device maintenance and timing of replacement, as well as other technical support, internet and wireless fees, maintenance of hotspots etc., ongoing professional development, building maintenance, replacement of incidental items etc., as appropriate.

    Contacts

    Office of Educational Management Services

    Office of Educational Management Services
    89 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12234
    (518) 474-6541
     

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are New York State school districts.

    Deadline Details

    There are no specific deadlines for submission of Smart Schools Investment Plans, as these funds do not expire.

    Award Details

    Approximately $2 billion is available in general obligation bonds. Cost sharing/matching is not required. All funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis. The funding available under the Smart Schools Bond Act is a one-time allocation, not an annual amount. These funds will not expire, but once they are expended, no additional funds will be made available. Districts are advised to plan carefully for their use as part of a strategy to build long-term capacity in their districts and communities.


    Each school district will receive an allocation of the $2 billion Smart Schools that is proportionate to the district's share of total formula based school aid in the 2013-14 school year, excluding Building Aid, Universal Prekindergarten Aid, and the Gap Elimination Adjustment. School districts can determine the amount they are eligible to receive at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/smart_schools/docs/SmartSchoolsAllocation.pdf.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts


    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available

 

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