Educators in Maine plan to deliver Apple iBooks to kids at the state's high schools, after great success in public middle schools.

Maine education chief Susan Gendron received a standing ovation on announcing these plans.

Gendron is proposing to extend the state's Apple notebook computer programme to 160 high schools. Maine Today reports the plans would see 22,000 laptops reach Maine's ninth graders, teachers and administrators by next autumn.

Maine's education department has already begun negotiations with Apple, Gendron said. It's proposed that Maine will pay 55 per cent of the cost, leaving school districts to pay the remaining 45 per cent.

Critics say financing the plan may eat into school renovation funds and want assurances that school renovation and construction won't suffer as a result.

Now in its second year, the notebook programme – the first such programme in the US – seeded laptops to 30,000 seventh- and eighth-graders in all 241 public middle schools across Maine.

Feedback from the scheme shows that iBook-powered students are "more engaged in their work", and pupils preparing to leave middle school for high school are apparently sad that they'll lose their Apple notebooks.