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President calls for high-speed, wireless Internet in 99% of nation's schools

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  • FULL TEXT: President speech at Mooresville Middle School

    FULL TEXT: President speech at Mooresville Middle School

    Thursday, June 6 2013 5:22 PM EDT2013-06-06 21:22:55 GMT
    (The following is text of President Barack Obama's speech at Mooresville Middle School as he introduced a new initiative to bring high-speed internet access to 99% of students in the next five years.More >>
    (The following is text of President Barack Obama's speech at Mooresville Middle School as he introduced a new initiative to bring high-speed internet access to 99% of students in the next five years. The text was provided by White House officials.)More >>
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

President Barack Obama spoke to middle school teachers and students in Mooresville on Thursday to announce a new initiative to get high speed Internet into the hands of every student.

The President landed at Charlotte-Douglas Airport Thursday afternoon around 1:30 p.m.

From there he took Marine One, a US Marine Corps helicopter, to Mooresville Middle School to deliver remarks and experience firsthand the school's cutting edge curriculum through digital learning.

Between 500 and 600 seventh and eighth graders packed into the gym well in advance of the president's arrival.

He was greeted by another hundred students in the school's cafeteria, more students were in an overflow room.

"We love you," one shouts. "I love you back," he says.

"I understand tomorrow is the last day of school," Obama says. "So I knew you guys were going to be in a good mood."

The President called Mooresville Middle an example for the country, saying he expects a 100 percent high school and college graduation rate from the students.

During his speech in the school's gym, the president called for high-speed broadband and wireless Internet to be installed in 99 percent of nation's schools within the next five years.

"In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, shouldn't we have it in our schools?" President Obama asked the crowded gymnasium.

White House officials say this would be paid for by a new phone tax. The average American would be taxed 40 cents over two years.

"Imagine a young boy with a chronic illness that confines him to his home able to join his classmates for every lesson," he said, stating that the program would allow him to learn from home.

"Imagine educators spending fewer hours teaching to a test, and more time helping kids learn in new and innovative ways," he said during the speech. "No matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, every child can learn. Every child can succeed."

"I'm going to keep fighting with everything I've got to build a better future for our young people," he continued.

At one point, the President mentioned how hot it was in the school's gym. During his speech, he had to pause twice after someone in the gym fainted.  They were treated by medical personnel on the scene.

The president's visit is part of his "Middle-Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour", which previously included stops in Austin, Texas and Baltimore, Maryland.

The President last visited North Carolina in February and was last in Charlotte on Sept. 6, the night he accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention.

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