Apple Computer Inc. has agreed to a smaller number of iBooks than it originally proposed for an expansion of its iBook program to Maine public high schools, according to the Associated Press. The company has a program in place that puts iBooks into the hands of all middle schoolers in the state, and it now looks like about one-third of high schools will get them as well.
Officials at Apple and in the state of Maine had hoped to sign up enough schools to rent at least 8,400 iBooks as part of the expanded program, but Apple settled on 6,000 instead. That’s enough to get iBooks into about 35 to 40 of the state’s 119 high schools, according to the report. Apple is charging the same fee to get the iBooks into high schools that it’s already charging the state’s middle schools — about $300 per system per year.
The Maine iBook program has been the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism since its implementation. The project was funded at the same time that the state saw a significant budget crisis; some opposed to the program want the money used for other purposes.