GLENS FALLS — The Board of Education approved a $170,200 Smart Schools bond act spending plan that will add educational technology, with the remaining non-expiring funds being saved to replace the equipment in the future.
New York state’s Smart Schools bond act, which was approved in the 2014-15 enacted budget, allocated $2 billion to finance educational technology and infrastructure. Some spending examples include installing internet, acquiring equipment or facilities, enhancing classrooms and implementing high-tech security features.
Glens Falls received $1.6 million. Though the funds have no expiration, the school district must have a state-approved spending plan before enacting the purchase.
The district previously spent $444,800 on 430 Chromebooks, 64 interactive display panels in the elementary buildings, six 3D printers, $8,800 on Google software and $9,000 on a Nao Robot.
A new plan approved by the school board on Aug. 13 will add 320 Chromebooks for third- and fourth-graders, audio/video equipment, classroom video conferencing cameras and microphones, device carts and 25 iMac desktops.
Glens Falls tech spending plan
|Chromebooks for grades 3 and 4||320||$260||$83,200|
|Audio/video creator studio equipment||5||$4,000||$20,000|
|Classroom video conferencing cameras/microphones||50||$400||$20,000|
|Classroom device carts/cabinets||30||$400||$12,000|
If the state approves the plan, the district expects to purchase the equipment in late summer or early fall of this year. The district is estimated to have just under $1 million remaining.
Though those funds could improve resources in classrooms now, Superintendent Paul Jenkins said the school is spreading out its purchases for a “rotation” approach.
“We know that six years down the road we are going to have to replace the ones that we had, so we want to make sure we are doing it on a rotation that can be upheld by the budget,” he said at the meeting. “If we did it all at once, then in six years from now we would end up with a huge bill.”