New initiative seeks digital access for 1 million low-income students

Last week at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Microsoft Corp. launched a three-year program to ensure that 1 million students from low-income families in the United States receive the benefits of software, hardware and discounted broadband Internet service.

Microsoft will work with state, city, nonprofit and private organizations — including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and One Economy — to develop and accelerate reduced-cost programs and policies that will include the following:

• Windows-based PCs optimized for students
• Broadband Internet access
• Microsoft education software
• Job skills training

In the U.S, approximately 9.5 million students are digitally excluded outside of their schools. According to the Federal Reserve, these students have a high school graduation rate six to eight percentage points lower than those who have home access to the Internet.