States Play a Large Role. States are given a great deal of flexibility in
their use of the funds. They are asked to develop a strategy that meets the
four national goals, pursue collaboration with the private sector, target
assistance to poor schools, and report annually to the public on the progress
that has been made.
. . . TO GREAT STRIDES IN 1997. Since then, NetDay has spread
country like wildfire, with major national NetDays occurring on October 19,
1996 and April 19, 1997. Today, communities in more than 40 states are
participating in NetDay. Many communities are now beginning to look at issues
beyond wiring, such as teacher training.
Below are just a few of the states and local communities that have gotten
involved in NetDay:
Alabama: Alabama plans to wire all classrooms, media centers and
administrative offices in all K-12 public schools by June 1, 1997.
California: On April 19, volunteers from AFL-CIO member unions
will be helping
to wire schools in the Los Angeles Empowerment Zone, part of the AFL-CIO,s
commitment to help wire 500 Empowerment Zone schools by the end of 1997.
Organizers of Silicon Valley's SmartSchools NetDay estimate that 80
the 496 local public K-12 schools will have installed a high-speed network by
April 26, 1997, with the help of 10,000 volunteers. In addition, local
businesses have donated 3,000 personal computers to schools.
Connecticut: In Connecticut, 4,000 volunteers have helped wire
1,600 schools and libraries, with support from 100 small businesses, large
corporations, and non-profit organizations. Connecticut will be using April 19
to begin organizing a Youth TechCorps, an initiative to identify and recognize
Connecticut children with technology skills, and provide them with mentoring,
service, scholarship and business opportunities.
Delaware: During last year,s NetDay, Delaware volunteers wired 70
out of 300 schools.
District of Columbia: 40 of D.C.'s 150 schools were wired in the
1996, and another 30 have signed up to participate in April and May. Companies
have donated laptop computers, WebTVs, extensive teacher training, and wiring
Florida: Organizers expect 500 schools to participate in NetDay on
putting Florida more than half-way to its goal of wiring 100% of its public and
private K-12 schools.
Louisiana: Organizers estimate that more than 100 schools will hold
NetDay wiring events on April 19.
Massachusetts: Massachusetts had a very successful NetDay on
April 5, with 450
schools participating. During this school year, nearly 40 percent of the
schools have participated, with 14,000 volunteers and $14 million worth of
support from companies. AmeriCorps members will be involved in this ongoing
Michigan: The Detroit Public School District has a very aggressive
in place for their 263 schools. Of this number, 70 are already wired, and
about 100 plan to wire on April 19.
New Jersey: New Jersey organizers will be holding a NetDay every
April, and are planning on wiring 1,000 schools by the end of 1997. Trenton
has launched an effort to become the first wired city by connecting every
school, public library and community center.
North Carolina: An estimated 26,000 volunteers wired 900 public and
schools on October 26, 1996, something that would have cost taxpayers $13.5
million. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the state's largest system, is wiring 110 of
its 130 schools beginning this spring.
Texas: The Houston Independent School District will wire libraries
schools this month, twenty each Saturday in April. For schools already wired,
the NetDay concept will be expanded to include "Phase II" NetDay events
focusing on teacher training and curriculum development.
Wisconsin: Organizers expect 300-500 schools to participate in
NetDay on April 19.