Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski announced yesterday $1.5 million in federal funds for Baltimore schools as part of an effort to bridge the "digital divide."
The Maryland Democrat said the funding would be used to buy and upgrade computers, wire school buildings and make other technological improvements, including faster Internet access.
"It's got Baltimore City's name on it," she said.
Mikulski made her announcement during a visit to Southern High School, which will become a technology magnet school this fall.
City schools Chief Executive Officer Carmen V. Russo said she doesn't yet know how many schools will benefit from the money, which is part of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill for fiscal year 2002 that was signed into law last week.
But, she added, "It will be used widely across the city."
After the news conference, Mikulski, Russo and other officials visited students working in a computer lab in Southern's biotechnology academy.
Senior Vivian Henderson, 17, who doesn't have a computer at home, relies on the machines at school to do much of her work - including a project on the extraction of DNA.
"I wouldn't be able to do it" without one, she said.