Schools in New York will be receiving more than $31 million in funding to strengthen connectivity, security and emergency notification systems, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced.
The money is coming from a $2 billion bond act approved by voters meant to boost school technology and infrastructure.
But in the nine years since the bond act was given approval by voters, a focus on school security has been made in the wake of mass shootings around the country. At the same time, the money will go toward improving technology for students and classrooms that was found lacking as schools turned to remote learning amid the onset of the pandemic.
"Inefficient technology was a huge hurdle during the COVID-19 pandemic - perhaps nowhere more evident than in our schools - and our students' educational and social experiences suffered," Governor Hochul said. "This $31.4 million investment will allow students to access the technology to bring them the opportunity to learn at their own pace while providing interactive experiences both inside and outside of the classroom."
All told, Hochul's office announced the approval of 61 plans for 57 districts in New York.
The money includes $16.6 million for improving security, $7.2 million for classroom technology and more than $7 million for school connectivity at both public and non-public schools.
Security measures include funding for entry control systems, video systems and notifications for emergencies.
"As we continue to emerge from the pandemic disruptions in the classroom, the Smart Schools Bond Act is helping schools prepare students to thrive in their academic career and in the workforce," Budget Director Robert Megna said. "The plans approved today will enhance school security to keep children safe, while providing the technology and enhanced tools of a modern, connected classroom."