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Office of the Vice President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, December 10, 1997

Vice President Gore today (12/10) announced more than $425 million for schools across the nation. These funds are provided under the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund launched by the Administration in 1996 and were requested by the Clinton Administration a part of the balanced budget plan enacted by Congress last month.

"This is a major step toward putting the power of technology in our nation's classrooms and at our children's fingertips," the Vice President said. "In order to seize the opportunities of a new economy and a new century, every child must have access to the Internet and learn to use cutting-edge technology."

The $425 million allocated under the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund for fiscal year 1998 will be given to all 50 states and outlying areas. These funds will be used by local school districts to help purchase computers, wire classrooms, develop new curriculum and software, and train teachers to use computers in the classroom. This fund, along with the E-rate --which provides schools and libraries with access to the Internet at deeply discounted rates --will give our children the tools they need to succeed in the new economy of the 21st century.

Technology literacy is especially important as we move into a new economy and Information Age. Today, half our economic growth is due to technological innovation. By the year 2000, 60 percent of all jobs in America will require the use of technology. Sixty-five percent of America's schools are already connected to the Internet.

The Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, a 5-year, $2 billion effort, was launched in February of 1996 to help achieve one of President Clinton's and Vice President Gore's highest priorities: bringing our children and schools into the information age --so that for the first time in American history, children in the most isolated rural towns, the most comfortable suburbs, the poorest inner city schools, have the same access to the same universe of knowledge.