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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release
June 3, 2000

THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION: TRAINING 200,000 NEW TEACHERS TO USE TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM

Today, in his weekly radio address, President Clinton will announce grants that will help 200,000 new teachers learn to use technology effectively in the classroom. These grants, which total $44 million this year and $128 million over a three-year period, will support innovative partnerships between teacher colleges, elementary and secondary schools, community-based organizations, and high-tech companies. This program, Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology (PT3), is a key element of the Clinton-Gore initiative to bridge the digital divide and create digital opportunity for all Americans. The President will also call upon Congress to fully fund his digital divide and education initiatives. This year, the majority in Congress are threatening to cut the President's important digital divide and education initiatives, including funding for teacher training, Community Technology Centers, school repair, smaller class sizes, and other important school reform programs.

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL ANNOUNCE $128 MILLION IN GRANTS TO TRAIN 200,000 NEW TEACHERS TO USE TECHNOLOGY. Today, President Clinton will announce 122 grants to partnerships between teacher colleges, elementary and secondary schools, community-based organizations, and high-tech companies. These grants will help meet the President's goal of ensuring that all new teachers can use technology effectively in the classroom to improve student performance.

- These Department of Education grants will be matched by over $130 million in non-federal commitments -- for a total public and private investment of more than $258 million.

- The PT3 grants awarded this year and last year will help train over 600,000 future teachers to be as comfortable with a computer as they are with a chalkboard.

- President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed doubling investment for this program in their FY2001 budget, from $75 million to $150 million. This investment would allow the PT3 program to train 1 million educators by 2004.

- A recent study by the Department of Education shows that currently only 33 percent of teachers feel "well-prepared" or "very well-prepared" to use computers and the Internet in the classroom. [Dept. of Ed., National Center for Education Statistics, Teacher Use of Computers and the Internet in Public Schools, April 2000.

- This program comes at a critical time. In less than a decade, 2 million teachers must be recruited to replace retiring teachers, to meet increasing student enrollment demands, and to achieve smaller class sizes.

- During the President's April 2000 "digital divide" trip, the deans of more than 200 colleges of education made a commitment to the President to make technology an integral part of teacher preparation and to measure their progress using an assessment tool developed by the CEO Forum on Education and Technology.

THIS INITIATIVE IS A CRITICAL ELEMENT OF THE CLINTON-GORE PLAN TO BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND CREATE DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE AMERICANS: President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed a comprehensive initiative to bridge the digital divide, including:

- $2 billion over 10 years in tax incentives to encourage private sector donation of computers, sponsorship of community technology centers, and technology training for workers.

- $100 million to create 1,000 Community Technology Centers in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods.

- $50 million for a public-private partnership to expand home access to computers and the Internet for low-income families.

- $45 million for the Commerce Department's Technology Opportunities Program, to promote innovative applications of information and communications technology for under-served communities.

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL CALL ON CONGRESS TO INVEST IN EDUCATION AND INITIATIVES TO BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: In order to pay for risky and fiscally irresponsible tax cuts, congressional Republicans propose to fund investments in domestic priorities $29 billion below the President's level, an average cut of 9 percent. For education, this results in insufficient funding for urgent school repair, smaller class sizes, and school reforms needed to strengthen accountability and turn around low-performing schools. It also denies funding for Administration initiatives to bridge the digital divide. For example:

- President Clinton requested $150 million for Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology, up from $75 million last year. The House plan provides only $85 million, preventing the training of an additional 400,000 new teachers by 2004.

- President Clinton asked the Congress to triple the funding for Community Technology Centers, from $32.5 million to $100 million. The House plan would provide no increase, preventing the creation of 1,000 new community technology centers in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods.

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