Gov. John Engler of Michigan has proposed a $30 million plan to make more computers available to schools.

“If we take these steps, Michigan minds will power the 21st century just as our hands did in the 20th century by putting America on wheels,” Engler said.

Money for the three-year plan will be tapped from the Renaissance Fund, an account set aside for economic development.

The plan includes 100 grants of up to $10,000 this year and next year to schools, libraries, and other community centers to expand the number of computers available to students. In addition, 200 grants of up to $10,000 will be given to teachers who find creative ways of using computers in their classrooms.

Michigan will also create a state Virtual University that will make up-to-date job training courses available to businesses via computer. Money from the technology plan will fund its start-up costs. The program is expected to be up and running later this year.

Rep. Lingg Brewer, D-Holt, who chairs the House Advanced Technology and Computer Development Committee, said Engler’s proposal “sends us in the right direction.”

“But we need to be careful that we don’t have state awards competing with federal awards for these programs,” Brewer said.