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School forces parents to pay for students' MacBooks

updated 08:45 am EDT, Fri June 11, 2010

Notebooks also available through leasing program

A new program in Beverly, Massachusetts aims to outfit every high-school student with a new MacBook. Although such technology programs are not uncommon, Beverly High School is asking parents to foot the bill upfront or through a leasing program with an option to buy the device after three years. Monthly cost is said to range from $20 to $25, with financial assistance available for eligible families.

Parents have voiced frustration over the terms of the program, which excludes Windows systems even if the students already own one. Superintendent James Hayes suggests the school will only have "one platform, and that's going to be the Mac," according to a Salem News report.

"You're kidding me," said parent Jenn Parisella, who bought her daughter a Dell. "She has a laptop. Why would I buy her another laptop?"

The school, which enrolls approximately 1,200 students, suggests the price of providing free notebooks would exceed $1 million. Other schools have taken advantage of state funding and sponsorship, however the Massachusetts government has reportedly reduced its allocations for the technology programs.

by MacNN Staff



  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interesting stance

    It's music to my Mac ears, and it's as if they're having to wean these people off of their Windoze drugs. Another nail in the MS coffin.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The taxpayers rejoice!

  1. mustango

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What I think about government schools and their spending habits aside, this story has in it a very uncomfortable echo of the Windows-only shops of the 90's.

    I don't want to see Apple turn into Microsoft II.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    public vs. private schools

    The difference between public schools and private schools, is the public schools are provided by the government.

    But schools, as they continue to increase the fee's they charge, are essentially morphing into government run corporations.

    Money if fungible. All these schools had money for laptops, but they spent it on teacher raises instead. Now the fee comes for the laptops.

    Educators cry that they make so little, don't you believe it, they make far more money than average, and while everyone else has been feeling the squeeze, they have not. They simply scheme up the next plan to pass the burden on to parents.

  1. facebook_John

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2010



    "You're kidding me," said parent Jenn Parisella, who bought her daughter a Dell. "She has a laptop. Why would I buy her another laptop?"

    How about because, having decided to use Macs, any applications the students will be required to use will be Mac application and therefore won't run on that Dell.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    2% raise for the next 3 years

    While many people are losing their jobs, Beverly, MA teachers are guaranteed a 2% raise for the next 3 years.

    Where are they getting money for it? Almost all tax money goes to provide salaries, they pass on the cost of other initiatives in the form of sending the bill to parents.

    Schools, while funded by the taxpayer, increasingly are refusing to spend the money on anything except salaries...its true all over the nation.

  1. Bearcat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If the school is going to charge the parents $25/month to lease the Macbook, why wouldn't the parents then just go to the Apple store and buy one on credit? It would cost pretty much the same and they could get a free 8GB iPod Touch for free through the education store. Seems like a better deal to me.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm a big fan of laptop programs, but this is a false start - either get the money and ease them into the program after the first year, or foot it. As long as you are going to require them there has to be some accommodation.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its about support

    School Districts and other large organizations need to have most if not all users on the same platform for sanity's sake with respect to support. If not it would be like having to design an OS that had to work well around every combination of logic board, graphics card, NIC, and expansion module...its just plain impossible. Windoze as case-in-point. ;-)

  1. facebook_Dustin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2010



    When I first read the title, I was under the impression that the parents had to foot an $800-1000 bill for their student to get a Macbook. Now that I see it's only like $20-25 a month, I feel differently about the article. Firstly, that isn't a lot of money for most families, they probably pay more for the cell phones their kids take to school than it costs to lease a Macbook. Secondly, these kids are in high school! Have them get a job and have them pay for it, it'll teach them some financial responsibility. I have been working since I was 14 and saved up to buy my first Mac for over 7 months at a minimum wage job.
    I wish my school would have done that when I was in school, I would have paid to use the latest greatest tech.

    I don't see what the problem these parents face. The school is providing assistance for those families who are having trouble, and again, $20 isn't that much.

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