As expected, Apple has begun negotiations with Maine’s Education Department to expand the state’s middle school iBook program into high schools. “Against a backdrop of budget turmoil, Education Commissioner Susan Gendron is seeking to sell state lawmakers on her proposal for tapping into a renovation fund to jump-start an expansion of the state’s laptop program into the state’s 160 high schools and vocational schools,” reports AP. “Gendron’s proposal would free lawmakers from new spending this year while getting wireless infrastructure in place and 22,000 laptops in the hands of ninth graders, teachers and administrators next fall.”