updated 01:00 pm EDT, Fri April 13, 2007
No iPods for MI students
The three Michigan lawmakers who travelled to California last month on Apple's dime have each agreed to reimburse the Cupertino-based company for $1,702 to cover trip-related costs. "The only reason we're paying for it is to end this public perception that something is misguided," said Rep. Tim Melton, D-Pontiac, who as chairman of the House Education Policy Committee said House Democrats mistakenly announced last week that they planned to pump $38 million into the budget to purchase iPods for Michigan students, according to the Detroit News. "We did the press a great disservice and we're deeply sorry for that," Melton admitted.
House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, and Rep. Matthew Gillard, D-Alpena, the chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on education also travelled to Apple's headquarters in California. Gillard held up and iPod for reporters as he discussed plans to put more technology into the classroom.
Gillard told the Detroit News that Dillon was "greatly disappointed" by the flap over iPods.
"There was never a plan to provide an iPod for every child in the state of Michigan," Melton said, adding that the $38 million proposal might be tossed out due to the state's budget crisis. Melton also stated that most of the proposed funding would go toward teacher development on ways to make technology as much of the classroom environment as a chalkboard.