Cobb County’s Apple iBooks in schools saga continues with lawsuit

“The former Cobb County commissioner suing the school system to stop its laptop computer program said his lawsuit stems from personal and not political convictions, despite longtime friendships that include school board member and program opponent Lindsey Tippins,” Kristina Torres and Don Plummer report for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “‘The school board really [acted] like they didn’t need to be accountable, it felt like,’ Butch Thompson said last week, after he filed the lawsuit. In it, he accuses school officials of planning to misspend taxpayers’ money by using proceeds from a 1 percent sales tax to start the program. The lawsuit ‘is the only avenue that’s left to stop it.'”

“Cobb County Superior Court Judge S. Lark Ingram has set a July 8 hearing date,” Torres and Plummer report. “County voters approved the tax in 2003. As they did, school officials said they would replace students’ “obsolete workstations.” The suit contends that the language was not specific enough to inform voters that the system intended to provide computers for all students in grades six through 12, putting Cobb on track to lead one of the nation’s largest efforts to provide laptops to students.”

“The first phase of the program, costing about $25 million, was approved by the seven-member school board in April despite opposition from Tippins and board member Betty Gray. The system began distributing Apple iBook laptops two weeks ago to some of its more than 7,100 teachers,” Torres and Plummer report. “It already has named four high schools as pilot sites where students will get iBooks sometime next school year. The first phase of the program also calls for upgrading middle school computer labs starting next fall… The Cobb program eventually could distribute 63,000 iBooks to all teachers and all students in grades six through 12, if the school board approves the rest of the program in coming years.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Lawsuit filed to stop Cobb County’s Apple iBook program – June 01, 2005
Cobb County school board approves Apple Mac plan; could eventually distribute 63,000 iBooks – April 29, 2005
Henrico school board dumps Apple Macs, picks Dells with Windows – April 29, 2005
Cobb County school officials intend to move forward with Apple iBook program – April 21, 2005
Cobb Commission chief urges delay in Apple iBook program, says issue has become too emotional – April 20, 2005
No conflict of interest in ongoing Cobb County Apple iBook saga – April 19, 2005
More controversy in Atlanta-area school district’s plan to buy Apple iBooks – April 16, 2005
Cobb County Georgia approves first phase of plan that could equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – April 15, 2005
Atlanta-area school district on verge of deal for 31,000 Apple iBooks – April 12, 2005
Cobb teachers voice concerns over using Macs for proposed laptop program – March 29, 2005
Cobb County Georgia meeting discusses plan to equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – February 24, 2005
Report: 90 percent of emails opposed to Georgia’s Apple iBook program – February 10, 2005
65,000 Apple iBooks for Georgia schools one of the largest school laptop programs in the country – February 10, 2005
Georgia school district to propose 63,000 Macs for students and teachers – February 07, 2005


  1. To the ex-commissioner Butch Thompson: What’s wrong with providing up-to-date technology to teachers and students if the funding is available? Did the taxpayers who voted for the levy all think the term “workstation” meant benches and personal chalkboards??

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