ADELPHI, Md. (AP) — President Barack Obama says $750 million in new private-business commitments will help “close the technology gap” in America’s schools.

Obama announced the new funding Tuesday at a Maryland middle school. The money will be used to connect more students to high-speed Internet.

The White House hopes the pledges will help fulfill a goal Obama set last summer to have 99 percent of students in schools wired at high speeds within five years. The president says access to the Internet will help American children compete with students from around the world.

The initiative also builds on Obama’s focus for 2014 on helping more Americans join and stay in the middle class amid an economic recovery in which the benefits have come more quickly for those at the top of the income scale.

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