Musgrove promotes school computer plan

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and the president and chief executiveofficer of Entergy Mississippi met with Brookhaven business andcivic leaders Monday morning to promote the governor’s campaign toput an Internet accessible computer in every classroom.

The governor is traveling the state with Carolyn Shanks ofEntergy to raise an additional $2 million for his project. About $4million has been raised already from private donors, corporationsand small businesses. The governor’s goal is to put an Internetaccessible computer in each of the state’s 30,000 classrooms by theend of 2002.

“I promised to have this done by the end of next year,” Musgrovesaid. “We are well over halfway there now. We’re going to differentcommunities throughout the state and giving every community achance to participate in this.

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“I believe having and using Internet accessible computers inevery classroom is a significant stop toward higher education,” thegovernor told business and civic leaders during a meeting at theBank of Brookhaven.

Musgrove said it is possible that this is the largest jointproject involving the government and private donors in the nation.Mississippi is the first state to actively pursue the project’sgoals.

Shanks is leading the private fund-raising effort. She saidhaving Internet access in every classroom will help students findthe most up-to-date information available to research projects.

”When I was going to school, and I’m sure when you were, we allused encyclopedias,” Shanks said. “They were mostly out-of-datewhen we got them. With these computers in every classroom, teacherswill have immediate access to the latest information.”

The Entergy leader said the computers cost just over $1,000each.

“If 10 civic groups or organizations would each donate just $100that would put a computer in one classroom,” Shanks said.

Musgrove announced March 5 that seven computer companies havebegun installing 6,325 computers in schools across Mississippi.

Dr. Sam Bounds, superintendent of Brookhaven Schools, said thedistrict is already receiving 22 computers through the initiative.Alexander Junior High School has received 21 computers and LipseyMiddle School got one.

Once the high school is completed the district will need 72more, Bounds said.

Lincoln County schools have received 27 computers through theinitiative. Five went to Bogue Chitto Attendance Center, four toEnterprise Attendance Center, four to Loyd Star Attendance Center,four to West Lincoln Attendance Center and ten to Eva HarrisAlternative School.

Musgrove and Shanks visited Gulfport, Brookhaven, Vicksburg, andGreenville Monday. They will visit other cities later thisweek.