A column by Rick Zaccaria, Candidate for the New York State Assembly 129th District.
Syracuse, NY-September 9, 2014-It’s a no brainer; our children deserve the best education possible. That means the best schools, the best teachers, the best resources and the best technology available. On this year’s ballot, there is an initiative, Proposition 3, that asks for taxpayer approval for a $2 BILLION bond to provide schools with iPads and other state-of-the-art (by today’s standards) electronic equipment. While this proposal sounds good on the surface, it is ultimately a doomed proposition and I urge all our residents to vote NO on this misguided mortgaging of our tax dollars. Here’s why…
$2 BILLION for this equipment just doesn’t make sense. Each year, astounding advances in technology are made. Laptops rapidly reach obsolescence, iPads are updated annually and today’s technology swiftly finds a place in tomorrow’s trash heap. With that in mind, why should the tax payers be on the hook for a $2 BILLION loan for equipment that is going to need to be replaced at an equally high cost (and likely another MULTI-BILLION dollar loan) within the next few years or sooner?
Instead of bonding out technology costs, our state government needs to get back to basics. That means taking steps to fix how education is funded and affording our schools the flexibility they need to obtain the resources they deem important. It also means getting rid of Common Core, as the high cost of implementing Common Core’s failed standards and curriculum are strangling the flexibility of school districts to spend the time and money on the tools they desperately need to provide a world-class education to our children. With the extra money that would become available from scrapping Common Core and through equitable distribution of school aid, our districts could purchase the technology they need now, instead of having equipment that works today, but will be out dated and unusable in a few short years, or sooner, before it’s even paid for.
As a father of three, I fully understand how important it is for our children to have every opportunity to succeed. This means preparing them for and giving them access to the equipment that are hallmarks of today’s global market and high-stakes economy. Proposition 3 does not do this. It is a costly measure that in the end does a disservice not only to our schools by saddling them with costly technology that will quickly become outdated, but to our kids as well. It also does a grave disservice to the taxpayers who are being asked to foot this enormous bill by leaving them on the hook for $2 BILLION dollars’ worth of equipment that accomplishes little for our children’s long-term success.
Now more than ever, fiscal responsibility and sound spending of taxpayer’s dollars should be scrutinized and well thought out… Proposition 3 does neither.
For more information contact the Zaccaria For Assembly Campaign at (315) 941-3664 or at email@example.com
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