Floral Park school officials modify Smart Schools spending plan

Floral Park-Bellerose school officials announced adjustments to how it hopes to spend nearly $433,000 received from the state on Monday night. (Photo from the Island Now archives)

Floral Park-Bellerose school officials announced adjustments to how it hopes to spend nearly $433,000 received from the state on Monday night, with new plans to use another grant to pay for pre-K classroom upgrades.

The Smart Schools Bond Act, approved by voters statewide in 2014, issued about $2 billion of general obligation bonds to improve educational technology and infrastructure. The Floral Park-Bellerose school district was allocated $432,512 of that, according to the Smart Schools program website.

Michael Fabiano, the assistant superintendent for business, said school district initially had plans to spend about $200,000 of this for renovations to pre-K classrooms and $233,000 on technology equipment.

Now though, with the receipt of a $150,000 facilities grant from state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck), Fabiano said this frees up some money and recommended using the bond funds just for the new technology.

“Originally we were going to allocate the $200,000 toward the pre-K classroom renovation,” Fabiano said. “Now we’re going to allocate the full amount to technology equipment.”

Asked about this being a net loss of $50,000, or the difference between $200,000 and $150,000, school board president Laura Ferone said the district is not sacrificing any of the planned projects.

“Nothing’s changed,” Ferone said. “We did not take anything out of pre-K.”

The preliminary plan was first approved on May 21 this year. It was then revised and re-posted to the district website on Dec. 2, following a July 1 public hearing. The Dec. 9 meeting marked the second public hearing for the plan, with the final plan not yet approved.

The plan currently calls for continuing a one-to-one program by purchasing iPads to refresh the technology as it ages, arguing that it would enhance educational opportunities for students and teachers.

John Lewis Childs School would get $154,288 for technology equipment, Floral Park Bellerose School would receive $217,774, and Our Lady of Victory Elementary School, a private parochial school within the district, would get $60,451, according to the plan.

tk tk tk tk  – sprinklers and fields, superintendent comments, next meeting


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Janelle Clausen

Janelle Clausen is a reporter with Blank Slate Media covering the Great Neck peninsula and Town of North Hempstead. She previously freelanced for the Amityville Record, Massapequa Post and the Babylon Beacon. When not reporting, the south shore native can...
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