Apple has secured another deal to extend its notebook dominance in the US education market, this time in North Carolina's Greene County district.

The $3.2 million pilot scheme in Greene County gives an iBook to every student in grades 6-12. The Macs should be distributed by the end of the month.

Apple and the education district have reached a four-year lease agreement, under which 1,800 students and 170 teachers will get iBooks. The company hopes the deal will encourage similar rural US school districts to make the same move.

Commending the county on its plans, Apple's executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations, Tim Cook, said: "You are one of the first to make an enormous difference. I look forward to seeing the results, not only in Eastern North Carolina, but in the nation at large."

Teachers are already identifying new ways to integrate the Macs into the school curriculuum, reports The Daily Reflector. Parents and students will attend two-hour training sessions on the new equipment beginning in late October.

This is the second notebook leasing deal between Apple and education districts to go public this week. Earlier this week Minnesota's Stillwater school district announced a deal that got iBooks into the hands of 1,000 students and 130 teacher's Macs in a five-year deal.

Apple chief financial officer, Fred Anderson, told Citigroup and Smith Barney's 2003 Technology Conference last month that Apple has secured over 100 one-to-one Mac deals in US education, calling the strategy "a sustainable business".

Test results from another Mac-equipped district – Maine – have shown that 24-hour computer access has improved student performance there, Anderson said.