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Guest Thinkers

What if? – One laptop per child

The federal government spent $45.7nbillion on elementary and secondary education in 2005–2006. This representednabout 8.2% of the overall government spending on P-12 education in our country,nwith the rest of the monies coming from state and local sources.


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The estimated P-12 public school enrollment for that same year was 48.7 millionnchildren. Add in about 5 million privatenschool children and another 1.1 millionnhomeschooled children and we have an approximate total of 54.8 million students. Usingnthese numbers, we can calculate that currently the federalngovernment spends about $834 per school-age child.

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Even knowing that many families could afford a better computer,nwhat if the federal government bought a $100 (or so) laptop for every child innAmerica? What would our schools be like? What would our children’s lives be like?

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