Digital Promise Passed by Both Houses of Congress
On Thursday, July 31, 2008, the legislation to create the Digital Promise was passed by both the House and Senate as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. It is expected to be signed into law by President Bush within days.
The name has been changed to the "National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies." I much preferred "Digital Promise" but the main thing is that the legislation has passed.
What it will do: It will create a Congressionally originated 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation within the U.S. Department of Education. It will have a nine-member independent Board of Directors appointed by the Secretary of Education from nominations by members of Congress. Grants and contracts will be awarded on merit, and policies will be developed following the tested procedures of NSF and NIH. The Center will be able to receive grants, contracts, and philanthropic contributions, as well as federal appropriations. See the National Center section of the bill <http://email.fas.org/listman/users/link.php?UserID=52940&Newsletter=418&List=2&LinkType=Send&LinkID=2059> .
Next steps: The next challenge is to secure FY09 appropriations for the Center. Because of the delay in passing the Higher Education Act, it was not possible to be included in the appropriations bills that were passed in Committee in June. Nevertheless, the Digital Promise team is working to have funding for the National Center included in final appropriations legislation. They are requesting $50 million for FY09.
Once funded, money should be available for library and educational digitization projects, among other digital projects.