Vote no on Smart School bond proposal

On the November ballot, voters will be asked to approve a $2 billion bond proposal that will be used to construct prekindergarten buildings, for broadband and wireless services in schools for laptops, desktops and tablets, and for security and surveillance equipment. The bonds will be paid off over a 30-year period, depending on whether the money is spent on construction, for broadband, computers or security. Even though laptops and tablets have a short lifespan before they are outdated, the bonds allocated for their purchase may take eight years to be amortized.

School districts will be required to submit plans to the Smart Schools Review Board and the amount available will depend on each school’s quotient for aid and the number of students in the district.

Construction projects must obey prevailing wage and other laws (including the Wicks Law).

Interest payable on the bond debt will be about $1 billion, adding to the $63 billion (plus $33 billion in interest) state-funded debt, which taxpayers already owe. According to the comptroller’s financial condition report, the state spent $31 billion on education for the period ending March 31, 2013. For the 2010-11 school year, New York’s per-pupil expenditure was the highest in the country.

Vote no on the Smart Schools bond proposal Nov. 4. It is just a reward for the governor’s loyal supporters.

CHARLES RODA

Mount Vernon, Westchester County