NEWFIELD, N.Y.—Newfield Central School District has received $200,000 more in funding for revamping its transportation services thanks to an inclusion in the New York State budget.

The funding, according to an announcement from New York State Assemblywoman Anna Kelles, is slated for radio equipment for school buses and Chromebooks. Last week, it was announced that Newfield Central School District was one of the districts in New York receiving funding for electric school buses, about $1.4 million total.

Earlier this year, Newfield’s financial woes came to light. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli deemed the district in “significant fiscal stress,” something Superintendent Eric Hartz acknowledged.

The radio equipment should provide more stable, safer communication in rural parts of the county where Newfield buses must traverse. The Chromebooks are also included to “upgrade [the district’s] digital technology.”

Hartz expressed gratitude for the additional money and the improved communication it would foster among the district’s transportation system—not to mention the new laptops.

“Our current radio service is not reliable; enhancing our communication means increasing safety for all students and providing peace of mind for our families,” Hartz said. “In addition, our district will be greatly supported with Chromebook purchases. In the past we have lacked enough computers and these funds will allow for our staff and students to be brought into the next generation of technology. We cannot express how much we appreciate the efforts from Assemblymember Kelles in delivering these funds to our students and families.” 

“It is critical, especially in the rural parts of the district, where we cannot rely on consistent cell phone coverage, that our school bus drivers remain in contact with the school district,” Kelles said in the announcement. “These radios will increase safety and provide families with an extra sense of assurance when they put their children on the bus in the morning. And I am thrilled that Newfield School District will be able to purchase some additional Chromebooks for their students with these funds.”  

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com