Portland considers Dell laptops for high school

Posted Aug. 12, 2009, at 12:45 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s largest city says it has found a better deal than the Apple iBooks for high school students this fall.

Portland school officials say they’ll spend $1.1 million over two years for about 2,200 Dell Netbook personal computers instead of $2.1 million over four years for about 2,200 Apple laptops under a deal negotiated by the state.

Superintendent Jim Morse tells the Portland Press Herald that the city “couldn’t afford a Cadillac, so we’re buying a Ford.” The School Committee will consider the proposal on Aug. 26.

The state has been pushing to expand its laptop program from middle schools into high schools. If it’s approved, each student at Portland, Deering and Casco Bay high schools would have a computer by October.