The decision, which allows school districts to choose their own laptop or tablet providers, ends Apple's decade-long run of supplying laptops to all of Maine's seventh- and eighth-graders. But it has created some uncertainty for local school officials, who are scrambling to determine what technology they can afford to use next fall.
After weeks of delay, the governor selected a package based on the HP ProBook 4440 -- a Microsoft Windows-based laptop -- from a field of five finalists, even though it was more expensive and received a lower score from contract evaluators than Apple's iPad 32-gigabyte tablet proposal. Students currently use Apple MacBooks.
In a news release issued Saturday morning, LePage erroneously said this was "the lowest-priced proposal," while emphasizing that Windows is "commonly used in the workplace in Maine" and that it is "important that our students are using technology that they will see and use in the workplace."