By ARIEL HERNANDEZ
As part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act—an initiative implemented to equip students with the skills they need to succeed in the global economy—Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that $400 million will go towards the removal of portable classroom units, additional education technology and the development of pre-kindergarten classrooms throughout the five boroughs.
In Queens, five portable classrooms will be removed and a new pre-K will be built to accommodate the growing need.
“Smart Schools Bond Act funding is improving support for New York’s students statewide,” said State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “It’s allowing teachers to better structure engaging lessons for all learners, and helping to give schools the tools to make learning fun. With today’s approval, New York City is continuing its effort to bring greater equity for students through the building or modernization of pre-K classrooms. All of these advances will help prepare our students with the 21st-century skills they need to succeed in college and the evolving workplace.”
Cuomo, who originally called for the state to invest $2 billion in schools through the Smart Schools Bond Act in 2014, said that through this funding, the state is addressing inequality in the education system.
“We’re ensuring that every child in New York has access to permanent, modern and fully equipped classroom space,” said Cuomo. “This funding will provide the next generation of New Yorkers with the vital resources and skills they need to lead our state into the future.”
Following the enactment of the Smart Schools Bond Act, a commission was established to compile information on how schools most effectively invest bond funds. Based on the report by the advisory commission, the state decided to focus on expanding wireless connectivity and transformative technologies in classrooms.
The city’s Department of Education did not return calls regarding which portable classrooms in Queens would be removed.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.