N.Y. School Bond Passes — $38M Boost to Yeshivas
Jewish Groups Pushed for $2B Technology Measure
Voters in New York state passed a schools bond act that may provide up to $38 million in reimbursements to Jewish day schools and yeshivas.
The Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, one of three referendums on the state ballot Tuesday, authorizes the state comptroller to issue and sell up to $2 billion in bonds to finance educational technology equipment and facilities, the construction and renovation of pre-K facilities, and the installation of high-tech security features in school buildings.
The measure passed by a vote of 62 to 38 percent.
Included in the law is up to $125 million in technology funding for non-public schools in the state – namely religious and independent schools. That translates into about $250 per student, which may cover such material as interactive whiteboards, computer servers, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and high-speed broadband or wireless Internet.
Following is the testimony of the New York State Catholic Conference regarding the 2014 – 2015 Elementary and Secondary Education Budget. Submitted in writing by Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Buffalo on January 28, 2014:
Let me turn to the Governor’s proposed Smart Schools Bond Initiative:
We expect all students, regardless of where they attend school, to not only be prepared for college and/or careers but to be competitive with their counterparts around the world. This is why all students are included in the state’s computer hardware aid and learning technology grant programs as well as the federal Enhancing Education through Technology program (Title IId). However, the federal Title IId program is no longer funded and the state’s computer and technology aid programs are insufficient to address the learning technology and assessments demands of the Common Core learning and assessment standards.
The Governor’s $2 billion Smart Schools bond initiative, which requires legislative and then voter approval, provides a crucial investment in the technology needs of schools but it is critical that it apply to all children in all schools – not just those in public schools. The families who enroll their children in religious and independent schools will be required to pay a share of the debt incurred in supporting this bond initiative and if we are to encourage our families to vote for this bond issue, it would be important to ensure that it applies equally to all children.
While this concludes my oral remarks, we offer additional comments in our written testimony. Be assured of our continuing prayers to each of you as you set about to address the needs of all God’s children. Thank you for your time and we would be happy to address any questions you may have.
Anyone live in New York state and can tell me more about the New York School Bond?
I tried to find out how much the New York Catholic schools will get but couldn’t find any information about it, except the quote above from the Bishop of Buffalo, so it seems that the Catholic school system is aware of the Bond.
Will secular private academies also receive millions of dollars as a result of this bond.
Will Muslim schools and also Atheist schools (there’s always one of everything in New York?) also receive public funds?
I don’t think the taxpayer should allow the states to borrow money and use it to fund secular private or private religious schools.
I know this may help the New York Catholic schools.
I think though if parents are sending their children to either religious schools or private secular schools, the parents should just buy a computer for their children and teach them how to use it.
Chances are, if they are paying a tuition bill they can afford a computer.
Also, if private and religious schools accept public money from the government, the government then can then tell these schools how the schools are administered and run.