“To supporters, it’s the wave of the future. To opponents, it’s a multimillion-dollar boondoggle. A plan that would ultimately give laptop computers to every high school student in suburban Atlanta’s Cobb County has stirred passions on both sides. The county school board is expected to vote Wednesday on the first phase of the multiyear plan. If it goes ahead in its current form, the plan would cost about $14 million a year, says its chief supporter, school Superintendent Joseph Redden,” Doug Gross reports for Associated Press.
“The original Cobb County program would have given 63,000 Apple iBook laptops to students in grades six through 12 and to all of the county’s public school teachers,” Gross reports. “Cost concerns caused officials to scale back the effort by over half to include only Cobb’s roughly 31,000 high school students – after a violent backlash from vocal critics in the community. ‘It’s too much taxpayer money that they do not have the taxpayers’ permission to use,’ said state Rep. Judy Manning, a Marietta Republican who has been outspoken in her criticism of the plan. Under the current plan, teachers would get laptops this year. Current computer connections at schools would be revamped and as many as four schools would become test sites for the laptop plan. The vast majority of high school students would not get laptops sooner than next year, if the school board decides to go ahead with the program. This week’s vote would simply approve the first-year concept. A contract with Apple computers [sic] is still in the works.”
Full article here.
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