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Boro schools get tech upgrades from city budget

By Sadef Ali Kully

More than $5 million of Borough President Melinda Katz’s discretionary capital funds for the 2016 fiscal year will be distributed to public elementary and middle schools for Smart Boards, laptop computers and other tech devices across the borough, her office announced.

The allocation, estimated at $5.14 million is from Katz’s portion of the city’s fiscal year 2016 capital budget.

Next year, as part of the fiscal year 2017 capital budget, the borough president plans to use additional capital funds to provide tech funding to all Queens public elementary and intermediate schools not included in this year’s round of funding.

“Education is the No. 1 economic investment we can make for our families, thereby for the future of Queens,” she said. “By September 2016, it is my intent to equip all public elementary and middle schools in Queens with these up-to-date instructional tech tools in the classroom. These resources will help elevate our great Queens schools to even higher standards and ensure that our kids remain globally competitive in the 21st century.”

An estimated $35,000 will go to each of 95 elementary schools for the purchase of interactive Smart Boards and $35,000 will be allocated to 38 middle schools for the purchase of laptops for in-school use across all 14 of the City Council districts in Queens.

District 27 will receive the most laptops in five public schools serving parts of St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Addisleigh Park, Jamaica, and Springfield Gardens.

District 20, which includes parts of Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Mitchell Gardens, Kissena Park, Harding Heights, Auburndale, and Whitestone, will receive the most Smart Boards in 10 schools across the district.

In addition, the Walter Reed School, or PS 9, will receive $35,000 for assistive learning devices, equipment used to help students with disabilities access their curriculum, and $35,000 for the purchase of iMac desktop computers at PS 255 in Kew Gardens

Almost $70,000 for a stationary classroom/library technology environment at PS/MS 105 in the Rockaways has been set aside as well as two $70,000 allotments for upgrades to computer labs at PS 82 in Jamaica and PS 164 in Kew Gardens.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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