Every Idaho high school student will get a laptop from HP, the state announced Tuesday.
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Sate Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna joined the company executives to make the announcement at HP's Boise campus.
The laptops will be HP Probook Notebooks. The partnership joins the Idaho Education Network - which now extends broadband Internet connectivity to high schools through Idaho - as tools in helping students reach their full academic potential, according to a news release.
"If we use yesterday's education system for today's children, we deny them the promise of tomorrow. That's why I'm pleased and proud to see that a hometown company employing thousands of Idaho people and with a deep commitment to Idaho's future is engaged and in fact leading the way in the effort to provide a world-class education for every Idaho student," Otter said. "We're growing our partnership with HP, and together with our valued teachers and administrators we look forward to meeting the challenges of preparing our young people for continuing their educations and competing effectively in the global marketplace."
The eight-year, $180 million contract between the State Department of Education and HP covers implementing the wireless network, deploying the mobile devices, monitoring and maintaining the system and devices, and training teachers and staff. That breaks down to less than $300 per student and teacher.
HP said this was an important move to further education in the Gem State.
"I guess I have faith in Idaho and I have faith that people will realize that technology is very important for our students," Von Hansen, general manager of HP Idaho, told Local News 8. "I just think its so critical to educate our children in the 21st century."
Although the agreement still depends on voters approving Proposition 3 on the Nov. 6 ballot, Luna said Tuesday's announcement marks an important step toward reaching Idaho's education reform goals.
“Idaho now joins thousands of other schools and states in offering this opportunity to its students," Luna said. "With this device, broadband Internet in every high school and the expansion of a wireless learning environment to every classroom, Idaho is finally on a path to providing equal access to the best educational opportunities to every student, no matter where a child lives in our great state."
A news release from the governor's office noted that HP is one of Idaho's largest employers.