Maine Extends Laptop Deal With Apple

by , 2:25 PM EDT, June 29th, 2006

The state of Maine on Thursday said that it has signed a new US$41 million, four-year contract with Apple, who will provide iBooks to 36,000 seventh- and eighth-grade students, as well as their teachers. According to the Associated Press, the deal will cover all of Maine's 241 junior high schools and will include wireless network upgrades, warranties, and professional development.

State technology coordinator Gary Lanoie told reporter David Sharp: "The first four years have been really good. If we didn't find a way to continue the project at our middle schools, our teachers would be very upset with me. They might lynch me. It's that ingrained."

The iBooks that were part of the state's original four-year contract with Apple will be kept within the school system. Mr. Sharp said that a fundraising effort led by former Gov. Angus King will enable them to be upgraded.