A Texas company called EDS, a global information technology services firm, is donating about US$400 million of software to the Maine school system thanks in part to the iBook laptop program being implemented there, according to an Associated Press article.
EDS will also make software available to high schools, the Maine Technical College, and state university systems so students will be better trained to work for precision manufacturers. King told AP that to his knowledge, the gift is the largest ever made to the state of Maine.
According to the article Hulas King of EDS said his company’s attention was drawn to Maine largely by the iBook laptop program, as well as Maine students’ good performance in tests that measure academic achievement.
Maine Governor Angus King first announced a laptop initiative for seventh grade students two years ago — the contract was won by Apple to supply the State with iBooks. Since the announcement, King has come under fire for the cost of the program, which the state threatened to cancel on a number of occasions. Governor King recently spent some time with MacCentral to discuss the initiative. See our Oct. 21 article for details.