View Header


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release August 24, 1999

Washington, DC -- Vice President Al Gore announced today that 400,000 new teachers will be trained to use technology in the classroom through $135 million in grants from the Department of Education.

"We're making real progress in connecting our children to the future with computers and Internet access," said Vice President Al Gore. "Now we're acting to ensure that new teachers entering the workforce are ready to use these powerful Information Age tools for teaching and learning. Technology-savvy teachers will be able to communicate more frequently with parents, exchange the best lesson plans with their colleagues over the Internet, and help all students meet high standards."

The grants will build strong partnerships involving more than 1,350 members, including universities, K-12 school districts, non-profit organizations, and high-tech companies to ensure that teachers entering the workforce will be as comfortable with a computer as they are with the chalkboard. Research shows that classroom technology has little effect on student achievement unless well-prepared, technology-proficient teachers are available to work with students.

U.S. Secretary of Education W. Richard Riley today is holding a roundtable with teachers and California State Superintendent Delaine Easton to discuss the importance of technology training at James Logan High School in Union City, CA, a district receiving one of the new grants.

"Training new teachers is particularly important because schools will need to hire 2.2 million new teachers over the next five years," Riley said. "Teachers tell us they do not feel very well prepared for the challenges of the modern classroom. These grants will help teachers get the preparation they need to successfully integrate technology into their lesson plans at a time when it will be increasingly important."

These grants are being awarded as part of the Administration's educational technology initiative, which has four goals: increasing the number of multimedia computers in the classroom, encouraging the development of high-quality educational software, training teachers to use technology effectively, and connecting every classroom to the Internet by the year 2000.

Many of the grants will focus on the needs of low-income communities and rural areas. A number of the projects involve historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges that will work to better prepare the teachers needed for the modern classroom. Also, the national consortia will address the technology needs of students with disabilities.

Examples of the grants include:

These U.S. Department of Education grants are leveraging an additional $195 million in private sector funds, for a total investment of $330 million.

Information on all of the grants is available on the World Wide Web at