HONOLULU (AP) - The state Department of Education is asking for $42 million over the next two years to provide every public school student in Hawaii with a computer by 2015 under the "one-to-one" program.
Under the plan, every public school student would get either a laptop or computer tablet. Teachers also would be trained on the devices.
The plan aims at standardizing curricula across the state, modernizing classroom instruction and phasing out printed textbooks. The funding request for the one-to-one program has been sent to the Governor's Office.
"This gives a true statement about how committed we are to making sure our students are college- and career-ready," said Amy Kunz, the Education Department's chief financial officer.
Kunz said the laptops and computer tablets would be leased, probably for three-year periods.
"It's going to be a continuous item that we are going to build into our budget," she said.
Board of Education Chairman Don Horner said it's too early in the budgetary process to determine whether the one-to-one program is the best use of taxpayer dollars.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie, in his January State of the State address, pledged to move forward with a one-to-one laptop program as part of wider efforts to improve Hawaii's school system.
The plan calls for rolling out the computers over three years, starting in the coming school year. About 60,000 students would receive laptops or computer tablets annually.