Michigan School Deal For 130,000 iBooks/Notebooks May Be Nixed

Earlier this month, we reported that Michigan was working on a plan that would put 130,000 portables into the hands of every 6th grade student in the state. At the time, the two leading contenders to supply the program were Apple and Dell, but both companies may be out of luck.

TMO forum member heifer pointed us to an article from last Friday in The Detroit News that says the whole program is likely to be cut. The problem is a US$900 million budget shortfall in the Michigan state budget. According to the article, Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has targeted the US$22 million in state funds that would have gone to help fund the program to help cut the deficit. From The Detroit News:

Granholm will instead propose a scaled-down version this year, using $17 million in federal funding set aside for technology in schools that serve students from low-income families. "Iim sure I will recommend that we not use state (school aid fund) dollars this year for the laptops," Granholm said. "We can start to roll it out with federal funding."

House Speaker Rick Johnson, R-LeRoy, the key architect of the program, intends to fight to keep the laptops in the state budget. "The speaker believes this is an opportunity for kids that we canit let pass," said Matt Resch, spokesman for Johnson. "The conversation is not over yet."

Thereis more information in the full article at The Detroit News. Join our forum members who have been discussing the Michigan program in our An Apple a Day: Macs in Education forum.