“Of the state’s 118 public high schools, 34 have agreed to foot the bill to get laptops into the hands of ninth-graders this fall, but the question remains: Who will pay to continue the program long term when the cost reaches $28 million or more annually for grades seven through 12? The enormity of the bill has yet to hit home, because the program is only in its third year. The laptop initiative championed by former Gov. Angus King has provided computers to seventh-graders for the last two years, and to eighth-graders for one year,” Victoria Wallack writes for The Times Record.
“While the state had hoped to continue the program for all high school freshmen this fall, no money was appropriated, leaving school districts to scramble, and – in some cases – use federal aid for students with disabilities, No Child Left Behind Act provisions or even Medicaid dollars to help pay the bill,” Wallack writes. The $28 million figure “less daunting if one considers what schools already are spending on technology – up to $45 million annually in some years statewide, based on a Department of Education survey… Throw in the savings on textbooks, she said, with some middle school principals saying they already don’t intend to buy new textbooks because ‘they can get that information online and it’s up-to-date,’ and the numbers sound better.”
Full article here.