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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Park City, Utah)
For  Immediate  Release                                    March 1, 1999


Vice President Gore and I have set a goal of connecting every classroom in America to the Internet by the year 2000. Today, I am pleased to announce that new Department of Education data show that more than half of all classrooms are connected -- nearly twice as many connections as last year. And thanks to new "e-rate" discounts that help schools and libraries connect to the Internet, we will reach our goal by the year 2000.

Computers, the Internet, and educational software can make a real difference in the way teachers teach and students learn. Because of our efforts, children in the most isolated inner city or rural town will have access to the same universe of knowledge as a child in the most affluent suburb. Parents will be able to communicate more frequently with teachers, and keep up with the progress of their child in school. Our children will be "technologically literate" -- and better prepared for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future. But we must also make sure that teachers are as comfortable with a computer as they are with the chalkboard. That is why Congress should support my $800 million educational technology initiative --including more than $100 million to train teachers in the latest technology.

By giving our children the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of the future, we will build a stronger nation for the 21st Century. I particularly want to thank Vice President Gore, who has done so much to put the future at the fingertips of our children.