THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT OF VICE PRESIDENT GORE ON INCREASING MINORITY ACCESS TO THE INTERNET
As a nation, we cannot afford to have some of our children use the educational tools of the 21st Century while others are left behind to use the limited resources of the last century.
Today, unfortunately, we have a digital divide. In 1997, students in predominately minority schools were three times less likely to have Internet access in the classroom than those in predominantly white schools. This figure is particularly alarming in light of the fact that by the year 2000, nearly 60 percent of all jobs will require information technology skills.
That is why the E-rate program is so important. Under it, schools and libraries receive discounts of 20 to 90 percent on telecommunications services, internal connections and Internet access -- with the deepest discounts going to the poorest urban and rural schools.
The E-rate is critical to our effort to put computers in every classroom and library, giving every child the tools to succeed. Children in every school in America -- regardless of where they live, how much their family earns, or the color of their skin -- should have access to this very important and essential educational tool.