Connecticut unveils technology plan

Connecticut officials recently announced a plan to ensure that every public school classroom in the state is wired to the internet by 2004.

The proposal is a result of a three-month study of computer readiness in the state’s public schools and libraries, which revealed that less than a third of the state’s classrooms are connected to the internet.

In addition to wiring classrooms, Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell has given her state the goal of making sure every student is “cyber-ready” by the sixth grade, which means that students would be taught the skills needed to use and learn with computers for the duration of their school careers and beyond.

The proposal also would require new teachers to meet minimum computer proficiency standards before they could be certified. The plan would provide $1,000 tax credits for teachers who buy personal computers, and it would give tax credits to companies that donate computers or services to schools.

The plan, which is backed by Gov. John Rowland, would cost the state $105 million over the next five years. The program would be funded largely by the state budget. Rowland said he would introduce the plan to lawmakers when the General Assembly reconvenes in February.

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