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State to invest $31M in school tech and security

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that schools in New York will receive more than $31 million in funding to improve connectivity, security, and emergency notification systems. The funding comes from a $2 billion bond act approved by voters to enhance school technology and infrastructure.

Although the bond act was approved nine years ago, the focus on school security has become more critical in the wake of mass shootings across the country. The funding will also go toward improving technology for students and classrooms, which was found to be inadequate during the pandemic-induced shift to remote learning.

Governor Hochul emphasized that “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. 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.”

Hochul’s office announced the approval of 61 plans for 57 districts in New York, with $16.6 million earmarked for improving security, $7.2 million for classroom technology, and more than $7 million for school connectivity at both public and non-public schools.

The security measures will include funding for entry control systems, video systems, and notifications for emergencies. The investment aims to prepare students to thrive in their academic careers and the workforce, according to Budget Director Robert Megna.

“The plans approved today will enhance school security to keep children safe, while providing the technology and enhanced tools of a modern, connected classroom,” Megna said.

The funding will undoubtedly provide a much-needed boost to schools as they continue to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic and the changing nature of education. It also underscores the importance of investing in technology and security to ensure that students receive the best possible education in a safe environment.