A group of Wisconsin businesses has promised to fund the installation of computerized literacy programs marketed by the International Business Machines Corporation in 50 elementary schools in the state this fall.
Gov. Tommy G. Thompson announced last month that nine local companies had pledged a total of $800,000 to buy IBM’s “Writing to Read” laboratories, which cost approximately $15,000 each.
The initiative will target schools in low-income areas of Milwaukee, on Indian reservations, and in rural areas, the Governor noted.
The Wisconsin initiative would be another in a series of state efforts to expand use of computerized reading instruction.
In a related development, Governor Buddy Roemer of Louisiana has vetoed a measure that would have introduced Writing to Read into a handful of the state’s elementary schools.
Mr. Roemer had proposed in April that the laboratories be installed in all K-1 classrooms this fall. But the legislature eventually approved $3 million, far less than the full estimated cost, for a pilot test of the project.
Mr. Roemer vetoed the appropriation, along with funding for other “special projects,” in order to help balance the state’s budget, according to Billy Rimes, an aide to the Governor.
Mr. Rimes also said that Mr. Roemer was unhappy that the legislature had “watered down” his initial proposal.--PW & MP
A version of this article appeared in the September 05, 1990 edition of Education Week as I.B.M. Labs Funded in Wisconsin