President Clinton announced $24 million in federal grants to provide technology training to teachers. The five-year grants range from $830,000 to $2 million and will go to districts in New York, Colorado and Florida.
The U.S. Department of Education announced $44 million in grants to 214 schools, community centers, libraries, community colleges and public housing projects for computers and Internet access. Matching grants from corporations and foundations will add $42 million for computer access.
“The idea is good social policy but it is also very, very important for our continued economic expansion,” Clinton said at the Comdex trade show in Chicago. “Closing the digital divide is one of the most important things we can do, and the quickest thing we can do, to alleviate poverty.”
“For too long, only those who could afford to have a computer in their home could take advantage of the learning and economic potential of the Internet,” Education Secretary Richard Riley said in a statement.
The president has asked Congress for $100 million – which would triple the current appropriation of $32.5 million – in the upcoming fiscal year to make additional grants for 1,000 new computer centers.