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

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Referred in Senate (10/04/2007)


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[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 694 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  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.

                               By Jorge E. Sorensen,

                                                          Deputy Clerk.