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 Working
to Bridge the Digital Divide By Ensuring That Every Child is
Technologically Literate. In 1994, President Clinton and Vice President
Gore set the goal of connecting every classroom and library to the
Internet. In 1996, President Clinton unveiled his Technology Literacy
Challenge -- and has made a major commitment of resources to connect every
classroom 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 their
President Clinton Succeeded in Increasing Educational Technology Funding by
Over 3,000 Percent -- From $23 Million in FY94 to $766 million in FY2000.
- $425 million for the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, first
launched by President Clinton and Vice President Gore in 1996, which
helps states and local communities meet all four "pillars" of the
President's educational technology initiative (computers, Internet
access, teacher training, educational software).
- $197 million for partnerships between local school districts and the
private sector to develop innovative approaches to using technology in
the classroom, including the Administration's Technology Innovation
Challenge Grants launched in 1995.
- $75 million for the first stage in the Administration's effort to
train all new teachers to use technology, computers and the Internet
in the classroom.
- $32.5 million for the new Clinton-Gore Administration's Community
Technology 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 connect
schools and libraries to the Internet, with the deepest discounts
going to the poorest schools that need it most.
- By the end of 2000, the e-rate will have funded $6.25 billion of
telecommunications infrastructure and services to schools and libraries.
In 1999, 82 percent of public schools (over 78,000) and 51 percent of
public libraries received public funding.
Major progress has been made in reaching the goals of the President's
Educational Technology Initiative.
- The number of classrooms connected to the Internet has increased from
3 percent in 1994 to 63 percent in 1999 (Fall 1999 data, Dept of
Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Internet
Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms," February 2000).
- The number of schools connected to the Internet has increased from 35
percent in 1994 to 95 percent in 1999 (Fall 1999 data, Dept of
Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Internet Access
in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms," February 2000).
- Grants supported by the Department of Education are training 400,000
new teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore are Building on Their Past
Achievements Through a Number of New and Expanded Proposals this Year.
Earlier this year, the President and Vice President announced specific
proposals in their FY2001 budget to help create digital opportunity for
more Americans, including:
- $2 billion over 10 years in tax incentives to encourage private sector
donation of computers, sponsorship of community technology centers,
and technology training for workers.
- $150 million to help train all new teachers entering the workforce to
use technology effectively.
- $100 million to create 1,000 Community Technology Centers in
low-income urban and rural neighborhoods.
- $50 million for a public/private partnership to expand home access to
computers and the Internet for low-income families.
- $45 million to promote innovative applications of information and
communications technology for under-served communities.
- $25 million to accelerate private sector deployment of broadband
networks in underserved urban and rural communities.
- $10 million to prepare Native Americans for careers in Information
Technology and other technical fields.
In addition, President Clinton and Vice-President Gore have worked to:
- Expand access to technology for people with disabilities. President
Clinton and Vice President Gore have been strong supporters of efforts to
make technology more accessible for people with disabilities. Recent
actions by the Federal Communications Commission will help ensure
that telecommunications equipment, such as cellular phones, is
designed to be accessible for people with disabilities.
- Expand access to technology in under-served communities. In addition
to the Department of Education's Community Technology Center program,
which provides computer access and educational services to communities
around the country, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has
created approximately 500 Neighborhood Network learning centers
that bring state of the art technology to publicly-assisted
housing across America. HUD's Neighborhood Networks are
innovative private/public partnerships that establish computer-based
multi-service centers to help people in publicly-assisted housing learn
critical 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 of
his Cabinet (Secretaries of Commerce, Education, Health and Human
Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor) to take specific
steps to close the Digital Divide, including:
- Continuing to measure the nature and extent of the digital divide by
examining the importance of income, education, race, gender, geography and
age to Americans' access to Information Age tools;
- Expanding the network of Community Technology Centers to provide
access to technology for those American who can't afford it;
- Promoting applications of the Internet that will empower low-income
families, such as the ability to start their own business; and
- Upgrading the IT skills of workers in low-income communities.
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