FARMINGDALE, Maine (AP) – Maine education officials are celebrating an expansion of the state’s laptop program into more than half of Maine’s high schools this fall.

Maine put a computer on the lap of each seventh- and eighth-grader in 2002 and 2003, and state officials hoped to get 100 percent participation from high schools this fall.

Education Commissioner Sue Gendron says the state fell short of that goal largely because of the short time frame for high schools to sign on over the summer. But she says the 63,000 laptops being distributed this fall still represents the biggest program of its kind in the nation. Gendron says the state will achieve the 100 percent goal within two years.

All seventh- and eighth-graders in public schools will get new laptops, as will students in more than half of the state’s 119 high schools.

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