Now to Fund School Computers after State Reaches Deal
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Now that state officials have signed a $180 million deal to put laptops in the hands of high school students, the task facing lawmakers will be finding the money to pay for it. State leaders on Tuesday announced the eight-year contract with Hewlett-Packard Co. as part of the Students Come First overhaul promoted by public schools chief Tom Luna. Under terms, the state will pay $300 per student — per year — for the computers. That price also includes maintenance, software and wireless network upgrades in classrooms. The fate of the laptop program rests in the hands of voters next month. If it survives, lawmakers will have to find $9.9 million to pay for laptops next year. The annual price increases to $18 million then $26 million in subsequent years.