Senate Voted to Reduce Technology Gap (Sen. Jim Webb)

Yesterday, I announced the Senate passage of the Higher Education Act Amendments of 2007, which included an amendment that I introduced in conjunction with Senator Warner (R-Va.). The amendment, the Minority Serving Institutions Advanced Technology and Education Act, provides the infrastructure to address the technology gap that exists in this country's minority serving educational institutions.

The legislation will set up a grant program to provide funding to secure equipment upgrades, campus wiring, technology training, increased internet access and other improvements to campus technology.

Today's college students face an expanding global economy that requires a firm grasp on information technology. This legislation provides Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) the resources to effectively teach the next generation of American workers the technology skills to succeed.

This program will affect the nation's 200 Hispanic serving institutions, 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 20 tribal colleges, including Virginia's six HBCUs.

Now that the Senate has passed this legislation, I look to my counterparts in the House of Representatives to join our investment in educational opportunities for minority students through the passage of this amendment.