A program providing MacBooks for students in Maine plans to increase its scope by leasing 100,000 computers from Apple at a cost of about $25 million per year.
Maine started its first-in-the-nation program by distributing more than 30,000 computers to each seventh- and eighth-grader in all of the state’s state public schools in 2002 and 2003.
Now, all 120 of Maine’s high schools, along with 241 middle schools, will have new laptops under the same program. The cost runs about $242 per computer per year.
Maine governor John Baldacci believes the laptop computer program can go beyond the classroom, becoming ” a powerful tool for the entire family.”
“Every night when students in seventh through 12th grade bring those computers home, they’ll connect the whole family to new opportunities and new resources,” Baldacci said. The computers would come with software to connect to the state’s CareerCenters, he added.
In 2007, a study released by the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (.pdf) indicated that student writing scores improved after laptops were introduced.