January 26, 2001
Sacramento Delivering on a promise to help bridge the digital divide in California classrooms, Governor Gray Davis recently announced the release of $167 million in education technology grants for high schools.
"These grants help fulfill my commitment to make up-to-date technology available to all of our high school students, so that all of them have the opportunity to participate in the New Economy," Governor Davis said. "As a result of this funding, at every public high school in California there will be about one computer for every five students. This is a giant step toward bridging the digital divide in high schools."
More than 108,000 multimedia, Internet-capable computers will be added to high schools as a result of these grants. This will bring the statewide ratio of students-to-multimedia-computers down to 5-to-1 all across the state. When older computers are factored in, the statewide ratio of total-computers-to-students will be approximately 3.8-to-1, down from 7-to-1. Before these grants, some schools had ratios as poor as 24-to-1.
More than 1,800 high schools will receive grants under the program. $4 million of the funds will purchase Internet wiring and computer hardware for students to access Advanced Placement courses online. The remaining $163 million announced today will be used to reduce the student-to-multimedia-computer ratio in California high schools to 5-to-1.
The funds to purchase Internet wiring and computer hardware for online Advanced Placement courses is part of Governor Davis' commitment to bringing rigorous AP courses to more students. These funds will be awarded to 155 schools that have agreed to use the technology to offer students a total of four or more AP courses when school opens in Fall 2001.
The technology funds released today are part of the education technology package sponsored by Governor Davis and enacted as part of the 2000 state budget. More than 99 percent of high school classrooms will soon be connected to the Internet, and these new funds will allow schools to add hardware to their networks, giving more students the ability to access the Internet regularly.
The technical specifications for this program require all new computers to be Energy Star compliant. The Governor also urges schools to minimize the power consumption of new and existing computers by utilizing the power management capabilities of each computer, ensuring that computers are turned off when not in use by students especially after school and coordinating with local utilities to power down non-essential computers during times of peak demand.
In addition to the $167 million awarded today, another $8 million in technology grants will be awarded in the coming weeks.