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Henrico County seeks parents’ input on laptop contract


Laptops in Henrico County, Va., middle schools are up for contract renewal next year, and the county — a pioneer in one-to-one computing when it first announced its laptop initiative — is soliciting input from parents on what to do about the machines, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The current four-year contract, which ends June 30, supplies an Apple laptop computer for every middle school student. Considerations in the renewal process will include whether to stick with Apple models, switch to Windows-based computers, or move to smaller netbooks. Parents so far have said they like for their children to have access to a computer at all times, that the program has enhanced parent-school communication, and that it helps save paper. But funding is a concern for parents and the school board. Parents have suggested more aid for families who can’t afford the $50 insurance fee and who don’t have internet access at home, and the board also expects to face a leaner budget next year because of the recession. The laptop program’s future will be discussed more thoroughly at the board’s December and January meetings, before a request for proposals goes out in February…

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