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President Clinton and
Vice President Gore
Participate in NetDay

April 19, 1997

A Challenge to Connect Every Classroom to the Internet. Last year, President Clinton challenged America to connect every classroom and library to the Internet by the year 2000, with modern computers,educational software, and teachers that are as comfortable with a computer as they are with a chalkboard. This effort will ensure that, for the first time in our history, children from rural, suburban, or inner city schools will have the same access to the same universe of knowledge.

America Has Made Great Strides. To help achieve this goal, the President and Vice President launched a $2 billion, five-year Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, with $200 million in funding approved in 1996. In the last two years, the percentage of classrooms connected to the Internet has jumped from 3% to over 14%, and the percentage of schools connected to the Internet has jumped from 35% to 65%.

Today, President Clinton and Vice President Gore Jointly Announced New Administration Actions to Make Every Child Technologically Literate

  • President Issues Directive to Federal Agencies on "Educational Content" on the Internet. The President today will issue aPresidential Memorandum directing agencies to expand the availability offederal resources on the Internet that have educational value. For example, NASA allows students to share in scientific pursuits such as exploration of Mars and experiments conducted on the Space Shuttle, and interact in real-time with astronauts.

  • New Technology Grants for Seven States. The President and Vice President are announcing that ten states and territories have been awarded $11.8 million in grants under the Technology Literacy ChallengeFund. These include Alaska, Connecticut, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Northern Mariana, American Samoa, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. These states join 14 other states that have been awarded a total of $57 million earlier this year.

  • President Calls on FCC to Approve Plan for "E-rate." On May 6,the FCC will vote on a plan to provide discounts to connect schools and libraries to the Internet. This plan would provide up to $2.25 billion in discounts for schools and libraries per year.

Today's Announcement Builds on The Success Since the First NetDay in1996. Since March 9, 1996, NetDay has spread across the country like wildfire, ensuring that thousands of schools are wired for the Internet.In 1996, an estimated 250,000 volunteers wired 50,000 schools as a firststep towards Internet access. Organizers report that NetDay activities are occurring in more than 40 states on April 19th. In Florida, for example, NetDay volunteers are expected to wire 500 schools, putting Florida half-way to its goal of wiring 100% of its public and private schools.

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