Students Come First
3:24 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Idaho Announces $180 Million Education Tech Contract With Hewlett Packard

Every Idaho high school student and teacher will get an HP ProBook computer.

The state announced Tuesday that Hewlett Packard will supply the laptops required by the state’s Students Come First laws.

HP will get an eight year $180 million contract for the computers, maintenance and training

The contract could be nullified by voters. The one laptop per student requirement is up for voter repeal in Proposition 3 on Idaho’s November ballot.

Here's the official press release from Gov. Butch Otter's office:

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter joined State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna today in announcing that HP – one of Idaho’s largest private employers – will be the State’s mobile computing devices contractor under the “Students Come First” education reforms.

The Governor and Superintendent joined HP executives and employees at the company’s Boise campus to announce the agreement and demonstrate the HP Probook Notebooks that will be deployed to students in every Idaho public high school. 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.

“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,” Governor 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.

While the agreement still depends on voters approving Proposition 3 on the November 6th ballot, Superintendent Luna said today’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,” Superintendent 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.”

Here's a link to a fact sheet provided by the Idaho Department of Education and Hewlett-Packard.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio