Obama to announce $400 million in private-sector technology grants

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President Obama on Friday will announce $400 million in private-sector dollars to improve technology in America’s classrooms, administration officials said.

The president will make the announcement during the first-ever White House Student Film Festival on Friday afternoon, an event held in conjunction with the American Film Institute.

Four short films, each produced by K-12 students, will be screened inside the White House.

The private-sector commitments are the latest moves in Mr. Obama’s so-called “year of action,” during which he’s vowed to work around Congress wherever possible. The president increasingly has been negotiating directly with private businesses, nonprofits and other groups to help implement his agenda, much of which remains stalled on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Obama will announce that leading software company Adobe will make available more than $300 million of free software to teachers and students for digital learning efforts. The company will, for example, provide copies of its popular Photoshop program.

In addition, software firm Prezi will provide $100 million of its products.

In the past month, the White House has secured more than $1 billion in private commitments to improve Internet access and technology in America’s classrooms.

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