There is one summary. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/09/2000)

Digital Empowerment Act - Title I: One-Stop Shop for Technology Education - Amends the Department of Education Organization Act to provide that the Office of Educational Technology (OET) shall be administered by an Assistant Secretary (currently a Director) of Educational Technology.

(Sec. 101) Requires OET to: (1) be a one-stop shop for all technology education programs within the Department of Education; (2) provide schools and community groups with information on technology education programs and sources of funds; and (3) serve as a clearinghouse for information on public and private efforts to bring technology to areas underserved by technology.

(Sec. 102) Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to include, among specified uses of Federal leadership funds for national programs of technology in education, the development of a national repository of information on the effective uses of educational technology and the dissemination of that information nationwide.

Title II: Digital Education - Amends ESEA to require State educational agencies (SEAs), in awarding school technology resource grants under a program of national challenge grants for technology in education, to give priority to local educational agencies (LEAs) that have: (1) the highest numbers or percentages of children in poverty; and (2) a substantial need for assistance in acquiring and using technology.

(Sec. 201) Authorizes appropriations for such grants program.

(Sec. 202) Includes among required local uses of such grant funds: (1) providing intensive training in the use of technology to school librarians and library media specialists; and (2) providing technical support and services to assist schools in maintaining their educational technology.

(Sec. 203) Requires local grant applications to describe how the LEA will ensure that school libraries and media centers possess equipment and trained personnel that enables them to provide access to information in formats made possible by new information and communication technologies.

(Sec. 204) Authorizes the Secretary of Education to award: (1) formula grants to SEAs to establish Teacher Technology Preparation Academies for teachers, librarians, and library media specialists; (2) competitive grants to institutions of higher education to train students entering the teaching workforce to use technology effectively in the classroom; and (3) grants to SEAs to provide school library technology and training for school librarians and library media specialists.

Authorizes appropriations for such grants.

Title III: Expansion of Universal Service Assistance - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to authorize additional uses of universal service assistance (the e-rate program) by educational providers.

(Sec. 301) Includes structured after-school activities among the educational purposes for which schools and libraries are to receive discount rates (E-rates) on telecommunications services.

Allows schools to use specified offset funds, which they may receive in lieu of such discount E-rates, for maintenance and repair of technology necessary to use such services.

(Sec. 302) Makes eligible for universal service assistance E-rates Head Start agencies and organizations that receive Federal job training funds.

Title IV: E-Corps Programs - Amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to provide for E-Corps programs.

(Sec. 401) Includes, among types of national service programs eligible for program assistance, an E-Corps program that involves participants who are proficient in technology and who provide service in a community by developing and assisting in carrying out technology programs in elementary schools, secondary schools, and community centers. Requires the Corporation for National and Community Services to ensure that specified funds are used only for E-Corps programs. Authorizes appropriations in a specified amount to carry out E-Corps programs and provide national service educational awards to E-Corps program participants.

Title V: Community Technology Centers - Amends ESEA to establish a program for Community Technology Centers (CTCs).

(Sec. 501) Authorizes the Secretary, through OET, to award competitive grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, of up to three-years' duration, for: (1) creating or expanding CTCs; or (2) providing technical assistance and support to CTCs.

Sets forth provisions for eligibility, applications, matching share of costs, and required and permissible uses of funds.

Authorizes appropriations for such CTC program.

Title VI: Neighborhood Networks for Public Housing - Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to provide for onsite computer access and training resources for public housing residents.

(Sec. 601) Authorizes computer centers in and around public housing, through a Neighborhood Networks initiative and related activities, to be established, operated, and assisted by the use of: (1) public housing capital and operating funds, and certain technical assistance; and (2) demolition, site revitalization, replacement housing, and tenant-based assistance grants for projects.

Title VII: Incentives for Technology Assistance - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to revise provisions for a tax deduction for corporate donations of computer technology and equipment for educational purposes (currently for elementary and secondary school purposes).

(Sec. 701) Includes Head Start centers, structured after-school programs, and certain public libraries and community centers (in addition to elementary and secondary schools) as eligible donees of such deductible donations. Allows such deductible donations to include training or maintenance services with respect to such computer technology or equipment.

Extends such deduction to donations made on or before June 30, 2004.

Title VIII: Demonstration Project in K-12 Education Technology - Directs the Secretary of Education to carry out a demonstration project that: (1) delivers a highly flexible educational system designed for kindergarten through grade 12, or a component thereof, that includes hardware, software, training, and ongoing support and professional development; (2) implements an Internet-based, one-to-one pilot project that specifically targets the educational needs of students in grade three through grade 12 who reside in low-income school districts; and (3) is conducted by an organization with proven expertise in the research and development of education technology designed for kindergarten through grade 12.

(Sec. 801) Requires the demonstration project to provide for: (1) a rugged notebook computer for every student participating in the project; (2) an infrared wireless connection to the school's local area network; (3) a low-cost, high-speed Internet connection; (4) customized, professional development for technical and instructional staff; (5) an academic information system that provides alignment between curricula, State standards, assessment, and teacher resources; and (6) a parental training component.

Allows the Secretary to contract with a private company or organization to carry out such a demonstration. Requires the Secretary to coordinate project implementation and oversight with an LEA and a private company, if such a company is used in the project. Requires, to the extent practicable, the project to be conducted in a location where a similar program is already at least partially underway. Sets forth reporting requirements.

Authorizes appropriations for such demonstration project.