Nonprofit Group To Target Technology Infrastructure

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Tapping public and private funds to bolster the technology infrastructure in the nation's public schools will be the goal of a nonprofit organization launched last week.

The National Education Technology Funding Corporation will aim to stimulate private investment in school technology and encourage states to sponsor information networks for public schools and libraries, said James E. Murray, a member of the group's board and a former president of the Federal National Mortgage Association.

The other board members are former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth of Missouri and Mary Hatwood Futrell, a former president of the National Education Association. The board eventually will have 15 members.

Public agencies and private companies that have demonstrated interest in the corporation include the Federal Communications Commission, the International Business Machines Corporation, and several other businesses involved in communications technology, Mr. Murray said.

The group's formation was announced at a Washington news conference held last week by U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill., to release federal findings showing that schools are not sufficiently equipped to handle modern technology.

The report, issued by the U.S. General Accounting Office, noted that more than half of the nearly 80,000 schools surveyed reported that while they have computers and other technology, they do not have the advanced wiring or basic infrastructure to support the devices.

--Drew Lindsay

Vol. 14, Issue 29

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