Education A State Capitals Roundup

Illinois Lt. Governor Wants Laptops for 7th Graders

By Rhea R. Borja — January 10, 2006 1 min read

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois has proposed giving a laptop computer to every public school 7th grader in the state.

Under the six-year proposal, called the I-Connect Computer Technology Act, Illinois would initially buy 169,000 laptops to distribute to students and their teachers next fall. The plan would eventually expand to all middle and high school students.

Lt. Gov. Quinn, a Democrat, is working with state lawmakers interested in sponsoring his proposal. When fully implemented, I-Connect would cost the state an estimated $50 million a year, said Ted E. Gibbs, the education policy adviser to the lieutenant governor.

He added that Mr. Quinn was looking at several options to pay for the plan.

Mr. Gibbs said I-Connect would be similar to Maine’s laptop initiative, in which all public middle school students receive such computers. “Laptops are the textbooks of tomorrow,” he added.