Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said he stood-by a proposal he made last week that could result in the federal government providing an Ipad for every student in the nation, despite a barrage of criticism he has suffered from the media in recent days.
"Let me be clear about a few things," Jackson said, brandishing both an Apple iPad and an Amazon Kindle on the House floor. "These devices are revolutionizing our country — and they will fundamentally alter how we will educate our children."
"Now, because I've suggested this idea, I've been called a communist and a socialist and any number of another things,” Jackson said.
Jackson is promoting his idea to amend the Constitution so that it guarantees every American the right to an equal education. Under that amendment Congress would be given discretion to implement the educational reforms which, Jackson said, may lead to an iPad, Kindle, or Nook for every schoolchild.
Jackson launched a lengthy defense of his proposal on the House floor, arguing that technology is a product of the First Amendment, and also necessary to help maintain First Amendment rights.
An education facilitated by technology could help further inalienable rights both in and out of the Constitution, Jackson said.
"Yes, there will be a cost," he said. "But if we can find the money for the wars, if we can find money to bail out Wall Street, certainly we can find the money to educate our kids at an equally high-quality level."