THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, November 23, 1998
THE CLINTON/GORE ADMINISTRATION:
INVESTING IN AMERICA'S FUTURE --
21ST CENTURY EDUCATION
Today, we are moving toward our goal of providing every American access to the information age so they can learn, explore, and prepare for the future.
Vice President Al Gore
November 23, 1998
Today, Vice President Al Gore announces the release of funding for up to 40,000 public schools and 7,000 libraries to connect to the Internet over the next two months. In addition, the Vice President will announce that states and local communities will begin receiving grants under the Administration's Technology Literacy Fund, which will allow them to purchase modern computers, train teachers to use technology, and buy high-quality educational software.
Connecting Children To The Information Age. President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe that progress in four areas of technology -- Internet access, computers, educational software, and teacher training -- are essential to preparing our children for the 21st Century. The "E-Rate" program, part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provides schools and libraries with discounts to purchase high-speed Internet access, internal wiring, and telecommunications services. This program is helping to bridge the "digital divide" between schools and communities with resources to provide this technology and those that do not. The E-Rate program offers the deepest discounts to poor and rural schools that need it most. Over the next two months, funds announced by the Vice President will allow up to 40,000 schools and 7,000 libraries nationwide to connect to the Internet. The announcement today will help connect roughly 30 million children to the Internet.
Providing Schools With The Technology Resources They Need. Research shows that technology can be a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Specifically, as a result of new technology, researchers have found that students test higher in math, attendance rates improve, student writing improves, teachers have better training, and parents become more involved in their children's education. The Clinton Administration's Technology Literacy Challenge Fund was launched in 1996 to ensure that every child in America will have access to computers and the information superhighway. Today, the Vice President is announcing the release of $425 million in grants from this fund, which will allow local communities to purchase modern computers, train teachers to better use technology, and buy high-quality educational software.
Working To Provide All Students With A First-Class Education. Today's announcements are part of the Clinton Administration's commitment to improving education and ensuring that all children have access to a world-class education as we move into the 21st Century:
- Encouraging States To Open More Charter Schools. The President signed legislation keeping us on track to 3,000 charter schools by the turn of the century. These schools allow for innovation while demanding accountability and can serve as a model of how we can best strengthen our public schools;
- More High-Quality Teachers With Smaller Classes. The President fought for and won funding to begin hiring 100,000 new, well-prepared teachers to help reduce class size in grades 1-3 to a national average of 18;
- Expanding Educational Technology. This year's budget includes a 20 percent increase for educational technology to ensure that every child has access to computers, the Internet, high-quality educational software, and teachers that can use technology effectively in the classroom.