One of the issues on the ballot Tuesday
in New York will be a bond issue for $2 billion for technology for the schools.


I am all in favor of technology for the schools, but it should not be paid for by a bond issue, which will be repaid over many years, long after the technology has become obsolete. As we saw in Los Angeles, where the superintendent proposed to use construction bonds to buy iPads, this is a very bad idea.


The main purpose of this bond issue is to provide technology for Common Core testing. Some parents are already calling it the “PARCC bond issue,” with reference to the name of the Common Core test that will be delivered online.


Our schools–especially in urban districts–need more funding. They need smaller class sizes for children who are struggling. They need funding for arts teachers, social workers, and librarians. They need renovations.


If the Legislature wants to buy new technology–and they should–they should pay for it, not float a bond issue.


Bond issues should be used for construction and renovation, for costs that will last over many years, even decades, not for technology, which is fast-changing and must be replaced and serviced.