Kids in a handful of Georgia schools would get laptop computers to work their lessons at night, under a $10 million pilot project proposed Jan. 3 by Gov. Roy Barnes.

Five to seven schools around the state would participate. Every child in each participating school would get a laptop.

“We’ve run one pilot already in Towns County with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission,” Barnes told reporters after outlining his budget recommendations to legislative budget writers.

“One of the things we noticed was that we had a big pop in the number of adults taking their GED (the high school equivalency diploma). One of the reasons we believe that is, when they take these computers home, the children would teach the parents about what was going on,” he said.

“Computers and technology are as essential today as the blue-back speller was 50 years ago. It’s just part of the basic knowledge required for almost every job,” he said. “If we don’t step up and look at ways and experiment with ways to teach our children how to use technology early, we’re going to pay the price in a few years.”