|Surplus Computers: Free for Schools|
Every year, thousands of personal computer systems retired or no longer needed by the federal government are donated free of charge to eligible schools and educational nonprofit organizations through the Federal Computers for Learning Program (CLP).
Giving special consideration to organizations with the greatest need, the program donates retired and surplus computer equipment to public, private, parochial, or home schools serving pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students, as well as all educational nonprofits classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c) of the United States tax code and serving pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students.
Schools and eligible nonprofits located in federal rural empowerment zones and enterprise communities are afforded special consideration. These special zones were created by law in 1993 to help geographic areas with long-standing histories of poverty and unemployment to become self-sustaining through continuing economic development. You can determine whether your school or nonprofit is located in one of these special communities by visiting the Rural Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community Program Web site.
What can you get?
Most of the computers available through the CLP are IBM-compatible 386s and 486s, with more modern Pentium-based systems now becoming more readily available. A few Apple Corporation systems are sometimes offered, as well.
While these are not the most powerful computers money can buy, they are still very useful for teaching basic computer skills. To help you decide if your organization's needs can be met by computers available through the Computers for Learning Program, see the Technology Tutorial on the CLP Web site. Also read these Success Stories, to see how schools around the nation have used these donated computers.
Along with computer systems, federal agencies also donate printers. modems, routers, servers, telecommunications equipment and research equipment. Software can only be supplied to schools and nonprofits where transfer of license is permitted.
How do you get it?
The Computers for Learning Web site is the only gateway schools and nonprofits need to apply for retired and access federal computer equipment. Once a school or nonprofit has registered to participate, administrators can use the Web site to:
- Learn how to create an overall plan for addressing computer needs.
- Assess the suitability of different types of available computer equipment.
- Request donated Federal computers.
- Contact a member of the Computers for Learning Partnership for free shipping.
- Find assistance if computers require upgrading.
- Find National Tech Corps volunteers in your State who have technical computer knowledge.
- View other registrants' registration information.
The Federal Computers for Learning Program was authorized by Executive Order 12999 - Educational technology: ensuring opportunity for all children in the next century -- issued by President Clinton on April 17, 1996.
" . . . to ensure that American children have the skills they need to succeed in the information-intensive 21st century . . ." - Executive Order 12999