Bankruptcies throw state’s school laptop program into disarray

It was just four months ago that the Custer School District anxiously awaited a late shipment of Gateway laptop computers. Now, the school is trying to give them back. Custer is one of 56 districts statewide taking part in the state’s Classroom Connections program under Gov. Mike Rounds’ 2010 Education Initiative, according to the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota. The initiative is a series of specific goals and plans intended to improve the state’s education system by 2010. The state provided $1 for every $2 the districts invested in technology. The state brokered a deal with Gateway to provide computers to the districts, but Custer officials say the computers had several problems almost immediately. They ordered replacements for parts under warranty. In the meantime, Gateway sold its business division, which included educational contracts, to MPC Corp., which filed for bankruptcy, leaving schools with broken computers.

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