reports that Maine’s Education Commissioner, Susan Gendron, has put forth a proposal to expand that state’s successful iBook program from middle-schoolers to high-schoolers and vocational schoolers as well.
Gendron’s proposal would put 22,000 more iBooks in place in the hands of ninth-graders in Maine schools, according to the report. More than 30,000 seventh- and eighth-graders already have iBooks, as part of a plan first implemented in 2002.
While the existing plan has won kudos from teachers, students and parents alike, funding to expand the program is of concern to lawmakers, especially given Maine’s current budgetary woes. Gendron’s proposal would use an existing fund for part of the money needed to expand the plan, along with a cost-sharing formula that would have local school districts pay 45 percent of the cost themselves as the plan expanded to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.
The report noted than the Education Department is already negotiating with Apple for a deal with new iBooks.