Infrastructure

Homework Online

By David J. Hoff — August 30, 2005 1 min read

By the time Angus S. King Jr. left the governor’s office in 2003, he made sure the state was giving every 7th and 8th grader in Maine’s public schools a laptop to use in school.

But that wasn’t enough.

Now the former two-term governor has guaranteed that all low-income students in the state will be able to use the Internet to do their homework.

Working through a foundation he established when he left office, Mr. King raised $850,000 to pay the fees for students qualifying for free and reduced-priced federal lunches to have free dial-up Internet access from home.

“Now, a teacher can say: ‘Go home and do your research … and come in tomorrow with 10 Web sites,’ ” Mr. King, a political Independent, said in an interview.

Mr. King contributed $100,000 of his own money to the project and raised the rest from the Lunder Foundation in Dexter, Maine, and the Bernard Osher Foundation in San Francisco. Great Works Internet will provide the services for the students and will charge Mr. King’s project $8.33 a month for every student participating. That’s about half the company’s usual rate, Mr. King said.

The Biddeford, Maine, Internet service company also will offer discounted high-speed Internet access to all students and teachers that have received laptops under the initiative that Mr. King started in his second term.

Mr. King said he set up the Maine Learning Technology Foundation to offer services that supplement the laptop initiative. He considers that program one of the most important legacies of his tenure as governor, which ran from 1995 until 2003.

“We can’t fund the [laptop] program, but we can try to help around the edges,” said Mr. King, a lawyer with a Portland, Maine, law firm and a consultant on corporate mergers. He also teaches courses at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Providing Internet access is an important part of expanding the laptop initiative, he said, but the state was unlikely to finance the project on its own.

He said the $850,000 in private money will last two or three years, depending on how many of the eligible students take advantage of it.

“I’m not looking for credit on this,” the former elected official added. “I’m just trying to make [the laptop initiative] work.”

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Infrastructure Internet Access Is a Civil Rights Issue
In the world’s wealthiest country, why is broadband access denied to so many and in such high numbers? Mark Lieberman investigates.
7 min read
v40 6BI ML IMG
Illustration by Jamiel Law
Infrastructure Schools Handed Out Millions of Digital Devices Under COVID-19. Now, Thousands Are Missing
Some districts are scrambling to account for thousands of devices—a task made more urgent by the uncertainty over when students will be able to return to school buildings full-time.
5 min read
1 Laptops ARTICLE
Getty
Infrastructure How to Address Big Tech Equity Challenges
School districts are facing huge tech equity issues this school year, especially if schools return to full-time remote learning. Here’s how they are addressing those challenges.
7 min read
Sam Urban Wittrock, a history teacher at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, shows an example of one of the many WiFi hotspot devices his school district is giving to students. Schools nationwide are gearing up to do a better job this academic year making sure digital devices and WiFi access are available to all students.
Sam Urban Wittrock, a history teacher at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, shows an example of one of the many WiFi hotspot devices his school district is giving to students. Schools nationwide are gearing up to do a better job this academic year making sure digital devices and WiFi access are available to all students.
Tony Gutierrez/AP
Infrastructure Should Schools Pay for Teachers' Internet Access?
A nationally representative EdWeek Research Center survey found that just 1 percent of teachers said their school or district was paying for their high-speed, wireless internet at home.
5 min read
32internet img getty (1)
iStock/Getty Images Plus