Market Watch: Technology

Nearly every public school in the United States is connected to the Internet, according to the latest government statistics.

The Fall 2000 survey of schools by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that 98 percent of public schools were linked to the Internet, compared with 35 percent in 1994. The NCES report attributes much of the technological progress to the e-rate program, which has committed $5.8 billion to help schools and libraries improve their technological capabilities.

The number of instructional rooms connected to the Internet has also climbed significantly. In 2000, 77 percent of instructional rooms were linked to the Internet, compared with 63 percent in 1999 and 3 percent in 1994.

The ratio of students to instructional computers improved to 5 to 1 in 2000. In 1999, the ratio was 6 to 1. The ratio of students to instructional computers with Internet access improved to 7 to 1 in 2000, compared with 9 to 1 in 1999.

Nearly every school is linked to the Internet
Year Percentage of public schools with Internet access Percentage of instructional rooms with Internet access Students per instructional computer with Internet access
1994 35 3 n/a
1995 50 8 n/a
1996 65 14 n/a
1997 78 27 n/a
1998 89 51 12
1999 95 64 9
2000 98 77 7
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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