School District Forcing Parents to Buy $1,500 Apple Laptops

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rightclicker, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. rightclicker macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2009
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    The first question that comes to mind, why in the world do they need a $1500 notebook? With the quantities being purchased, surely the school board could negotiate a deal with Apple to supply the white MacBook for ~$900. That they're demanding parents buy an unnecessarily expensive notebook makes this suspicious, imo.

    As to forcing students to buy a computer if they want to attend a given school, I have little problem with that. As long as the state still provides education to every child, that's the important thing. They're not saying "buy a computer or you don't get to go to school", they're saying "buy a computer or you don't get to go to this school". Specialized arts schools, trades schools, etc. already exist, why not a specialized technology school?

    That said, it would be nice to see the school board work with parents instead of against them. There's no reason they couldn't buy notebooks and rent them to students, thus saving the parents money. That would give the school more control over the notebooks, too, which imo would be a positive benefit. Having kids bring their own notebooks in makes it harder to control what they do with them; if the school owns them, then they can directly control content and access on the machines.
  3. theMaccer macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006
  4. dsnort macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2006
    In persona non grata
    That sound onerous and un-american.

    It also smells fishy.

    The article sites as needed a "$1500 Apple Laptop", which would have to be the top of the line UMB. But you can get a poly MB for $999, ($949 from Ed Store) will do most anything the UMB will, albeit slower. I feel the writer has taken some literary license and mixed and good dose of ignorance to boot.

    By the way, why doesn't the ACLU take umbrage with a school that requires students to have a laptop, but refuses to support Mac or Linux or anything other than Windows?
  5. Cursor macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2002
    Aren't programs like these covered under annual property/ "school taxes"? I think it stinks that they would threaten to send kids to a different school, if their parents were unable to pay for one or multiple laptops (with more than one child in the district). What is happening in this country? Seems like we the people are being threatened more and more every day by big government.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    The official documents also cite the $1500 price but do not explain where it came from. It might include some commercial software, also. It looks like the students are required to acquire a specific computer from the program, rather than being allowed to have a computer that meets certain specifications. One way or another, $1500 sounds like an excessive amount for a computer, made by Apple or not, being used for this purpose.

    Any links on case examples of schools that force students to buy a specific computer from the school? Or for that matter, schools that force students to have access to a computer at home to be enrolled?

    The ACLU settlement sounded good in places but seems to have been horribly short-sighted:

    This part sounds good until one reaches the end. It sounds like the schools are required to have 90% parent buy-in, meaning that no remaining students would be required to pay any more than the $65 insurance fee to participate, since the settlement requires the school to furnish up to 10% of students with computers it owns (under the insurance fee). The $65 fee seems loosely in keeping with lab fees and so on that students are routinely assessed.

    That seems fine, except that they can apparently ignore this completely and establish the program at a school with little or no buy-in from parents.

    This of course all side-steps the issue that these notebook computer programs themselves have little or no evidentiary basis... this is probably going to be money the families and school district end up wasting nearly completely.
  7. rightclicker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2009
    The cost of warranty and insurance for the laptop is $364, well over a third of the cost of the laptop itself. In consumer terms, the pricing is absurdly high and undoubtedly the largest source of profit for Apple. This additional cost is not optional.

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