[Radio Address to the Nation] [NetDay Video Conference]
Remarks by the Vice President
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 a
directing agencies to expand the availability of
federal 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 Challenge
Fund. 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 in
1996. 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 first
step 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