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School districts ask parents to insure iPads for students

Schools are seeking insurance policies for electronic devices issued to students and employees.

Covering textbooks with paper grocery bags isn’t going to cut it anymore when it comes to protecting learning materials in public schools.

Districts across the country are putting expensive technology in students’ hands to replace textbooks, workbooks, and even paper and pencils. Devices worth hundreds of dollars now often leave school buildings and go home with students.

“We need to protect those investments,” said Carl Colmark, finance director in Farmington, Minn., schools, a district planning to put an Apple iPad tablet computer in the hands of every student by the end of the school year.

Farmington is one of a growing number of districts, colleges, and universities turning to insurance policies from companies like the Stillwater, Okla.-based Worth Ave. Group for electronic devices issued to students and employees.

Insurance for expensive personal technology such as smart phones and tablets is a growing business, and many of Worth Ave.’s clients are school districts, said Quang Ha, sales director. The company has more than 1,000 clients in the education field, making it the nation’s largest provider of this type of insurance.

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