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Alabama Senate OKs $100 million for digital books


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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate is trying to provide schools with up to $100 million to convert from paper textbooks to digital textbooks.

The Senate voted 19-11 Thursday for a bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville that would allow the state to borrow up to $100 million through bond sales to provide money to schools for laptops, tablets and electronic versions of textbooks. Dial's bill goes to the House, where similar legislation died last year.

Dial says digital textbooks are cheaper than paper textbooks, and the savings should cover the cost of the 20-year bond issue. He says schools that have already converted to tablets, such as Huntsville and Jasper, could seek reimbursement through the bond issue.

Opponents questioned the wisdom of a bond issue lasting longer than the tablets.

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