What is the Smart Schools Bond Act?
The Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA) was passed as part of the 2014-15 New York state budget and approved by voters in a statewide referendum held on Nov. 4, 2014.
The SSBA authorized the issuance of $2 billion in bonds to finance educational technology and infrastructure to improve learning opportunities for students throughout the state.
How much will Fayetteville-Manlius School District receive under the plan?
The district was allocated $1,727,955 under the SSBA. The state requires each district to collaborate with any nonpublic school districts within the district’s boundaries, and so F-M will share $60,000 ($250 per pupil) of instructional technology purchases with the Immaculate Conception School.
The state will reimburse the district for 100 percent of its expenses as identified in the Fayetteville-Manlius Smart Schools Investment Plan. This plan earmarks the entire allocation for classroom technology. Fayetteville-Manlius plans to implement its plan over a three-year period. Smart Schools bond funds remain available until a district has used its entire allocation.
Is there any local cost associated with the technology purchases?
There is no local cost associated with the initial purchase. Because the technology, like all electronic devices, have lifespans, the district will include replacement costs when needed in its annual instructional technology replacement plan.
Was there a public hearing on this plan, and where can I find more information?
Yes. The F-M Board of Education held a public hearing Feb. 8, 2016, on the plan prior to the board approving it.
The plan, and more information about the Smart Schools Bond Act, is available through the links on the left side of this page. Information is also available by calling the superintendent’s office at 315-692-1200.
How will the funding be used?
The district will purchase Chromebooks and iPads based on enrollment levels at each school building. Allowing students access to devices they can use at their desks brings the world to them while in their classroom, enhancing instruction and making the most efficient use of teacher-student instruction time. Other items, such as interactive whiteboards and replacement laptops, will be used in classroom instruction and allow for the latest software to be utilized, mimicking what is used in real-world settings.
Smart Schools funding cannot be used to hire more teachers or pay for normal operational costs.
The F-M plan provides for the following items to be purchased for a total of $1,727,955:
- Laptop Replacement, $360,000
- Student Mobile Devices, $776,788
- Interactive Whiteboard Replacement/Mobile Device Replacement, $192,167
- Other Supplemental Items, such as 3D Printers, Desktop Computers, TI Navigators, Ipad Carts, iPad Charging Stations and Cases, $339,000
- Chromebooks and iPads (Immaculate Conception School), $60,000
Amendment: Pricing for teacher laptops came in under the allocated budget amount, allowing the district to make additional purchases: replace outdated iMac computers in the F-M High School music theory lab, $17,833; replace outdated laptop docks for teachers $16,684; and increase the number of iPads for grades K-2 classrooms, $29,000.
July 2018 Amendment: With leftover funds as a result of decreasing in pricing, the remainder of the funds will be used to replace outdated teacher laptop docks. With the additional funds granted by the state, Chromebooks will be purchased to add to classrooms in addition to a 3D printer in the high school for the technology classes.1