Text: H.R.694 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (10/04/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 694

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
September 5, 2007

Received

October 4, 2007

Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


AN ACT

To establish a digital and wireless network technology program, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. Establishment of Program.

Section 5 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3704) is amended by inserting the following after subsection (b):

“(c) Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Program.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall establish a Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Program to assist eligible institutions in acquiring, and augmenting their use of, digital and wireless networking technologies to improve the quality and delivery of educational services at eligible institutions.

“(2) AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES.—An eligible institution may use a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract awarded under this subsection—

“(A) to acquire equipment, instrumentation, networking capability, hardware and software, digital network technology, wireless technology, and infrastructure to further the objective of the Program described in paragraph (1);

“(B) to develop and provide training, education, and professional development programs, including faculty development, to increase the use of, and usefulness of, digital and wireless networking technology;

“(C) to provide teacher education, including the provision of preservice teacher training and in-service professional development at eligible institutions, library and media specialist training, and preschool and teacher aid certification to individuals who seek to acquire or enhance technology skills in order to use digital and wireless networking technology in the classroom or instructional process, including instruction in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology subjects;

“(D) to obtain capacity-building technical assistance, including through remote technical support, technical assistance workshops, and distance learning services; and

“(E) to foster the use of digital and wireless networking technology to improve research and education, including scientific, mathematics, engineering, and technology instruction.

“(3) APPLICATION AND REVIEW PROCEDURES.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—To be eligible to receive a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this subsection, an eligible institution shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. Such application, at a minimum, shall include a description of how the funds will be used, including a description of any digital and wireless networking technology to be acquired, and a description of how the institution will ensure that digital and wireless networking will be made accessible to, and employed by, students, faculty, and administrators. The Secretary, consistent with subparagraph (C) and in consultation with the advisory council established under subparagraph (B), shall establish procedures to review such applications. The Secretary shall publish the application requirements and review criteria in the Federal Register, along with a statement describing the availability of funds.

“(B) ADVISORY COUNCIL.—The Secretary shall establish an advisory council to advise the Secretary on the best approaches to encourage maximum participation by eligible institutions in the program established under paragraph (1), and on the procedures to review proposals submitted to the program. In selecting the members of the advisory council, the Secretary shall consult with representatives of appropriate organizations, including representatives of eligible institutions, to ensure that the membership of the advisory council includes representatives of minority businesses and eligible institution communities. The Secretary shall also consult with experts in digital and wireless networking technology to ensure that such expertise is represented on the advisory council.

“(C) REVIEW PANELS.—Each application submitted under this subsection by an eligible institution shall be reviewed by a panel of individuals selected by the Secretary to judge the quality and merit of the proposal, including the extent to which the eligible institution can effectively and successfully utilize the proposed grant, cooperative agreement, or contract to carry out the program described in paragraph (1). The Secretary shall ensure that the review panels include representatives of minority serving institutions and others who are knowledgeable about eligible institutions and technology issues. The Secretary shall ensure that no individual assigned under this subsection to review any application has a conflict of interest with regard to that application. The Secretary shall take into consideration the recommendations of the review panel in determining whether to award a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract to an eligible institution.

“(D) INFORMATION DISSEMINATION.—The Secretary shall convene an annual meeting of eligible institutions receiving grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts under this subsection to foster collaboration and capacity-building activities among eligible institutions.

“(E) MATCHING REQUIREMENT.—The Secretary may not award a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract to an eligible institution under this subsection unless such institution agrees that, with respect to the costs incurred by the institution in carrying out the program for which the grant, cooperative agreement, or contract was awarded, such institution shall make available, directly, or through donations from public or private entities, non-Federal contributions in an amount equal to one-quarter of the grant, cooperative agreement, or contract awarded by the Secretary, or $500,000, whichever is the lesser amount. The Secretary shall waive the matching requirement for any institution or consortium with no endowment, or an endowment that has a current dollar value lower than $50,000,000.

“(F) AWARDS.—

“(i) LIMITATION.—An eligible institution that receives a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this subsection that exceeds $2,500,000 shall not be eligible to receive another grant, cooperative agreement, or contract.

“(ii) CONSORTIA.—Grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts may only be awarded to eligible institutions. Eligible institutions may seek funding under this subsection for consortia which may include other eligible institutions, a State or a State education agency, local education agencies, institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, national nonprofit organizations, or businesses, including minority businesses.

“(iii) PLANNING GRANTS.—The Secretary may provide funds to develop strategic plans to implement such grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts.

“(iv) INSTITUTIONAL DIVERSITY.—In awarding grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to eligible institutions, the Secretary shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that awards are made to all types of institutions eligible for assistance under this subsection.

“(v) NEED.—In awarding funds under this subsection, the Secretary shall give priority to the institution with the greatest demonstrated need for assistance.

“(G) ANNUAL REPORT AND EVALUATION.—

“(i) ANNUAL REPORT REQUIRED FROM RECIPIENTS.—Each institution that receives a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract awarded under this subsection shall provide an annual report to the Secretary on its use of the grant, cooperative agreement, or contract.

“(ii) INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT.—Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Public Administration to conduct periodic assessments of the program. The Assessments shall be conducted once every 3 years during the 10-year period following the enactment of this subsection. The assessments shall include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program in improving the education and training of students, faculty and staff at eligible institutions that have been awarded grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts under the program; an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program in improving access to, and familiarity with, digital and wireless networking technology for students, faculty, and staff at all eligible institutions; an evaluation of the procedures established under paragraph (3)(A); and recommendations for improving the program, including recommendations concerning the continuing need for Federal support. In carrying out its assessments, the National Academy of Public Administration shall review the reports submitted to the Secretary under clause (i).

“(iii) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Upon completion of each independent assessment carried out under clause (ii), the Secretary shall transmit the assessment to Congress along with a summary of the Secretary’s plans, if any, to implement the recommendations of the National Academy of Public Administration.

“(H) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(i) DIGITAL AND WIRELESS NETWORKING TECHNOLOGY.—The term ‘digital and wireless networking technology’ means computer and communications equipment and software that facilitates the transmission of information in a digital format.

“(ii) ELIGIBLE INSTITUTION.—The term ‘eligible institution’ means an institution that is—

“(I) a historically Black college or university that is a part B institution, as defined in section 322(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1061(2)), an institution described in section 326(e)(1)(A), (B), or (C) of that Act (20 U.S.C. 1063b(e)(1)(A), (B), or (C)), or a consortium of institutions described in this subparagraph;

“(II) a Hispanic-serving institution, as defined in section 502(a)(5) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(5));

“(III) a tribally controlled college or university, as defined in section 316(b)(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059c(b)(3));

“(IV) an Alaska Native-serving institution under section 317(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059d(b));

“(V) a Native Hawaiian-serving institution under section 317(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059d(b)); or

“(VI) an institution of higher education (as defined in section 365 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067k)) with an enrollment of needy students (as defined in section 312(d) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1058(d))).

“(iii) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

“(iv) LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY.—The term ‘local educational agency’ has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

“(v) MINORITY BUSINESS.—The term ‘minority business’ includes HUBZone small business concerns (as defined in section 3(p) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(p))).

“(vi) MINORITY INDIVIDUAL.—The term ‘minority individual’ means an American Indian, Alaskan Native, Black (not of Hispanic origin), Hispanic (including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Central or South American origin), or Pacific Islander individual.

“(vii) STATE.—The term ‘State’ has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

“(viii) STATE EDUCATIONAL AGENCY.—The term ‘State educational agency’ has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).”.

SEC. 3. Authorization of appropriations.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce to carry out section 5(c) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980—

(1) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2008; and

(2) such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2009 through 2012.

Passed the House of Representatives September 4, 2007.

Attest: lorraine c. miller,   
Clerk.