updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon March 16, 2009
Apple, Maine school deal
Apple stands to benefit from a new deal being negotiated with the government of Maine, writes the Associated Press. Members of the state's Education Department are said to be negotiating a four-year lease, which would see 100,000 MacBooks handed out to students in grades 7 to 12. By this fall the state hopes to provide all students in these grades with a notebook, expanding on efforts first begun in 2002.
In order to supply 120 high schools and 241 middle schools, the state will have to pay approximately $242 per computer, per year. The new Apple deal is expected to cost about $25 million in total each year, as compared to the $13 million currently being paid to Apple annually for 47,000 notebooks used by students and school staff. Some 53,000 new students should be covered by the beginning of the 2009-2010 school season; state governor John Baldacci claims that the effort should not require an increase in taxes.
The program is mainly aimed at improving the performance of poor students, who may lack easy access to a computer whether for writing reports or accessing research material on the Internet. Bundled software will also link students to state career centers. It is not known when a deal between Maine and Apple might be formalized, the AP comments.