- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BOISE, IDAHO (AP) - Idaho officials have awarded an eight-year, $180 million contract to Hewlett-Packard Co. to provide high school students and teachers with laptops, in a deal that hinges on a voter initiative.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Public Schools Superintendent Tom Luna announced Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard as the winning vendor at an event Tuesday on the company’s Boise campus.

Hewlett-Packard submitted the lowest bid of five companies, offering HP ProBook laptops, software, security and support for $249 per student.

The contract and plan for equipping students and teachers with laptops are part of an education overhaul, and could be undone if voters in two weeks decide to reject Proposition 3. The technology initiative, along with referendums on teacher merit pay and limits on teacher union bargaining, face voter approval Nov. 6.

Otter and Luna say the computers are critical to their vision for transforming high school classrooms across the state.

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