Florida teachers and pupils face having to part with their Macs because the local schools chief wants all schools in his area to use PCs.

Howard Hinesley, schools superintendent for the St Petersburg area, says only PCs should be used – despite a third of the area’s school machines being Macs.

The move has angered administrators and teachers alike. Suzy Dross, technology co-ordinator at Azalea Elementary School, told the St Petersburg Times: "I'm a Mac expert, most of us are. So we’re going to have to be trained."

Officials in the district say it is too hard to maintain training and repair programmes for two platforms. Assistant superintendent, Al Swinyard, told the newspaper: "If we could focus on one area as opposed to two we'd be better off. I expect the district to save money over time by using one type of computer."

Another reason cited for the decision is the reliance on a student information system that is not compatible with Mac OS X.

According to the report, teachers and other school officials have expressed a preference for Macs because they are easy to use, loaded with extra software and experience fewer problems with viruses.

The district now has a contract with Dell, the top provider in the US education market. However, according to, Apple's chief financial officer Fred Anderson Apple is now the top notebook vendor in that market, having seen notebook education sales increase from 24 per cent in 2002 to 30 per cent in 2003.