School districts in Lewiston, Cottonwood, Culdesac, Genesee and Craigmont are among a mix of large and small school districts that will be first in line when Idaho starts providing laptop computers for every ninth- through 12th-grader next year.
The state Department of Education selected 32 districts, allowing up to 47 high schools to participate when the laptops start going to students in 2013 under reforms championed by public schools chief Tom Luna. The list includes big districts like Meridian and Boise in southwest Idaho, though they’ll be limited on how many high schools can participate. Tiny school districts such as Culdesac and Kimberly also made the cut, as did two charter schools, including Deary based Idaho Distance Education Academy.
The laptops will first go to every high school teacher this fall, though Idaho has yet to select the device that will be deployed into high school classrooms statewide. A May 25 deadline for computer vendors to submit bids to the state’s Division of Purchasing has been extended until Monday.
More than 170 high schools serving 68,000 students wanted to be first part of the first batch, according to the state Department of Education. The program will be limited, however, to roughly 27,000 students in its first year.
Luna’s reforms were approved by state lawmakers in 2011, but opponents were successful in getting a repeal initiative on the November ballot. (AP)