The technology gap in New York schools just got $87 million smaller. The state is disbursing $87 million in vouchers to schools serving low-income students for the purchase of technology. The funding is part of the settlement agreement reached between New York State consumers and Microsoft Corporation in a 2006 antitrust suit.
Vouchers from the New York State School Technology Voucher Program can be used to buy eligible products from any technology company, including. computer hardware, software, and equipment for computer networks and technology infrastructure. Funding is available to public and charter schools in which at least 50% of the attending students receive free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program. The voucher amounts assigned to eligible schools will be based on the total funding available and the number of applications from eligible schools.
The program is designed to facilitate the transition to computer-based testing and the overall integration of technology in the classroom.
“New York’s exams are going to be moving to a computer platform. Schools need to put in place the technology that will allow children to do their tests on computers and this $87 million is going to go a long way,” said State Education Department Spokesman Tom Dunn.