State of the States
Maine Governor Pursues Expanded Laptop Program
Gov. John Baldacci wants to extend his state’s laptop-computer initiative to reach high school students and their parents, and expand Maine’s efforts to send more high school students to college.
The first-term Democrat used his Jan. 20 State of the State Address to announce that he will present plans to extend the laptop program to next year’s 9th graders. Currently, 7th and 8th graders receive the computers.
The governor also announced that the state departments of education and labor would create worker-training programs that teach the students’ parents how to use the laptops.
By extending the program, “Maine is poised to develop an entire generation with one of the most marketable skills in the world,” he said in the speech.
Gov. Baldacci also announced a pilot Early College program as part of the state’s continuing
efforts to persuade more students to go to college. The pilot initiative at 25 high schools would identify students who aren’t likely to attend college, and offer them two free community college classes during senior year.
The governor added that finding ways to reduce taxes, while continuing to support education at current levels, would be a priority in this year’s legislative session.
Vol. 24, Issue 21, Pages 26-27