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Earlier today we sent the following Informational Letter (#99) to each of you around extending one-to-one computing to the high school level. This message is to serve as both an update and as a correction to that letter.
The UPDATE is
to let you know that the Education Committee has scheduled a public
hearing and work session on one-to-one computing for
The CORRECTION is in regards to the following bullet which was listed under FUNDING SOLUTIONS. Please note that Title VI should NOT have been listed. The appropriate sources are Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA, and Title V. Please be sure to make note of this correction and to discard any earlier copies of this letter you may have.
INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 99
POLICY CODE: IHAJ
TO: Superintendents of Schools
FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner
RE: UPDATE - Extending One-To-One
Informational Letter # 70, I shared with you the intention of Governor John
Elias Baldacci to extend
Since that time we have successfully negotiated with Apple to finalize the components of the contract. I am pleased to report that the resulting contract provisions will permit the MLTI program to proceed in a very cost-effective manner. Initially I shared with you a plan that would provide computers to one class per year beginning with the 2004-2005 school year. A recent review by the State Office of Purchasing has caused us to alter that plan to one that will generate approximately a $9 million dollar savings over the previous proposed contract, and complete the implementation in two years rather than four.
I am pursuing a funding solution that will not impact the General Fund or compete with other State budget priorities in the next fiscal year and minimize costs to local budgets. First-year costs will be drawn from the Revolving Renovation Fund to pay for the installation of the wireless infrastructure in all schools. In years two, three, and four of the contract, I have modified my earlier proposal to include a minimum 55% of the total cost of the program or your State percentage which ever is greater. If your district receives 90% of educational costs from the State, 90% of the costs of the high school laptop program will be paid by the State. This revised plan will enable us to approach this phase of implementation with greater equity. The estimated annual statewide local share will be approximately $9.6 million.
We have carefully analyzed possible additional funding sources to mitigate the local share. Resources that local districts can draw upon to meet their obligation should they elect to participate in this program include:
Total Estimated Annual Local Obligation $9,663,619
(12,050 Students, 500 Teachers) $5,100,000
Possible Net Local Obligation
Statewide $ 484,779
These are possibilities
that local districts can consider. As
noted in Informational Letter #70, the TAGLIT survey revealed that current
annual local spending on instructional hardware exceeds $15 million. Between these existing funds, and the
possible allocation of federal funds, we hope that all local districts
will be able to participate in the high school MLTI program. Our abiding belief is that the MLTI program
is a source of powerful leverage for achieving
What remains is the requirement that the Legislature grant its approval for the State to enter into the agreement with Apple. The Education Committee has spent many hours debating all aspects of both substance and process regarding the MLTI high school program, and decided earlier this week to introduce a bill to allow for public input and a formal legislative vote. Last week, during a work session on the MLTI program, middle school teachers and students from each county presented the merits of the program to the Committee. Though the presentations were very compelling (it was truly inspiring to have the students and teachers on hand to passionately advocate for the program), the Education Committee believes it is important to hold a formal hearing to allow legislators to speak with additional constituents and superintendents regarding this proposal. I would encourage you to speak with your legislators and attend the hearing if your schedule permits. I anticipate that the hearing date will be set for later this week and will provide an update on the details as soon as we know.
Manchester and Tony Sprague will be meeting with the Maine School
Superintendent’s Association on