THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES UP TO 47,000 SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES TO RECEIVE FUNDS TO CONNECT CHILDREN TO THE INTERNET
Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that, over the next two months, up to 40,000 public schools and 7,000 libraries will get nearly $2 billion under the "E-rate" program to connect to the Internet.
In addition, the Vice President announced that states and communities will begin receiving part of the $425 million in grants from the Administration's Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, which complements the E-rate by allowing communities to buy modern computers, train teachers to use technology, and buy high-quality educational software.
"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 Gore said. "The E-rate and the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund will allow our nation to take this giant step forward, improving the education we provide our children. Together, we are using our newest tools to support our oldest goals -- helping our students learn by giving them the best education we can."
The E-rate, created under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provides over $1.9 billion in discounts for schools and libraries to buy high-speed Internet access, internal wiring, and telecommunications services. The program will help bridge the "digital divide" by giving the deepest discounts to the poor and rural schools that need it most.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe that progress in all four areas -- Internet access, computers, educational software, and teacher training -- is essential to prepare our children for the 21st Century. As a result of this initiative, 30 million children will be connected to the Internet.
"Today, we are taking steps that will forever change the lives of millions of children and change the way teachers teach and children learn," the Vice President said. "For the first time in our history, these new tools are making it possible for a child in the most isolated inner-city neighborhood or rural community to have access to the same world of knowledge at the same instant as a child in the most affluent suburb."
Research shows that technology can be a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Specifically, as a result of new technology, test scores in math are higher, attendance rates have improved, students writing has improved, teachers have better training, and parents have become more involved in their children's education.