Michigan's state budget office announced Feb. 20 it has signed a four-year, $68 million contract with Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) to provide thousands of laptop computers and other services to sixth graders across Michigan using federal funds.

The state Department of Management and Budget has been working on the contract since the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer giant agreed in December to charge no more than $275 per student per year for the state's "Freedom to Learn" program. HP also will provide technical support, insurance, and training under the program.

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