The President's New Markets Trip:
From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity
April 17 - 18, 2000
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release April 17, 2000
THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION'S RECORD
TO HELP CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
April 17, 2000
President Clinton and Vice President Gore Have a Strong Record of Workingto Bridge the Digital Divide By Ensuring That Every Child isTechnologically Literate. In 1994, President Clinton and Vice PresidentGore set the goal of connecting every classroom and library to theInternet. In 1996, President Clinton unveiled his Technology LiteracyChallenge -- and has made a major commitment of resources to connect everyclassroom to the Internet, expand access to modern, multimedia computers;make high-quality educational software an integral part of the curriculum;and enable teachers to effectively integrate technology into theirinstruction
President Clinton Succeeded in Increasing Educational Technology Funding byOver 3,000 Percent -- From $23 Million in FY94 to $766 million in FY2000.This includes:
- $425 million for the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, firstlaunched by President Clinton and Vice President Gore in 1996, whichhelps states and local communities meet all four "pillars" of thePresident's educational technology initiative (computers, Internetaccess, teacher training, educational software).
- $197 million for partnerships between local school districts and theprivate sector to develop innovative approaches to using technology inthe classroom, including the Administration's Technology InnovationChallenge Grants launched in 1995.
- $75 million for the first stage in the Administration's effort totrain all new teachers to use technology, computers and the Internetin the classroom.
- $32.5 million for the new Clinton-Gore Administration's CommunityTechnology Center Initiative.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore Also Fought for the $2.25 billion"E-rate" to Connect Schools and Libraries to the Internet.
- The e-rate is providing 20 percent - 90 percent discounts to connectschools and libraries to the Internet, with the deepest discountsgoing to the poorest schools that need it most.
- By the end of 2000, the e-rate will have funded $6.25 billion oftelecommunications infrastructure and services to schools and libraries.In 1999, 82 percent of public schools (over 78,000) and 51 percent ofpublic libraries received public funding.
Major progress has been made in reaching the goals of the President'sEducational Technology Initiative.
- The number of classrooms connected to the Internet has increased from3 percent in 1994 to 63 percent in 1999 (Fall 1999 data, Dept ofEducation, National Center for Education Statistics, "InternetAccess in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms," February 2000).
- The number of schools connected to the Internet has increased from 35percent in 1994 to 95 percent in 1999 (Fall 1999 data, Dept ofEducation, National Center for Education Statistics, "Internet Accessin U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms," February 2000).
- Grants supported by the Department of Education are training 400,000new teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom.President Clinton and Vice President Gore are Building on Their PastAchievements Through a Number of New and Expanded Proposals this Year.Earlier this year, the President and Vice President announced specificproposals in their FY2001 budget to help create digital opportunity formore Americans, including:
- $2 billion over 10 years in tax incentives to encourage private sectordonation of computers, sponsorship of community technology centers,and technology training for workers.
- $150 million to help train all new teachers entering the workforce touse technology effectively.
- $100 million to create 1,000 Community Technology Centers inlow-income urban and rural neighborhoods.
- $50 million for a public/private partnership to expand home access tocomputers and the Internet for low-income families.
- $45 million to promote innovative applications of information andcommunications technology for under-served communities.
- $25 million to accelerate private sector deployment of broadbandnetworks in underserved urban and rural communities.
- $10 million to prepare Native Americans for careers in InformationTechnology and other technical fields.
In addition, President Clinton and Vice-President Gore have worked to:
- Expand access to technology for people with disabilities. PresidentClinton and Vice President Gore have been strong supporters of efforts tomake technology more accessible for people with disabilities. Recentactions by the Federal Communications Commission will help ensurethat telecommunications equipment, such as cellular phones, isdesigned to be accessible for people with disabilities.
- Expand access to technology in under-served communities. In additionto the Department of Education's Community Technology Center program,which provides computer access and educational services to communitiesaround the country, the Department of Housing and Urban Development hascreated approximately 500 Neighborhood Network learning centersthat bring state of the art technology to publicly-assistedhousing across America. HUD's Neighborhood Networks areinnovative private/public partnerships that establish computer-basedmulti-service centers to help people in publicly-assisted housing learncritical computer skills and prepare for 21st Century jobs.
- Ensure that the Administration makes closing the Digital Divide a top priority. In December, 1999, President Clinton directed members ofhis Cabinet (Secretaries of Commerce, Education, Health and HumanServices, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor) to take specificsteps to close the Digital Divide, including:
- Continuing to measure the nature and extent of the digital divide byexamining the importance of income, education, race, gender, geography andage to Americans' access to Information Age tools;
- Expanding the network of Community Technology Centers to provideaccess to technology for those American who can't afford it;
- Promoting applications of the Internet that will empower low-incomefamilies, such as the ability to start their own business; and
- Upgrading the IT skills of workers in low-income communities.
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