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Online push in California schools

Gov Schwarzenegger: "The text books are outdated as far as I'm concerned"

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has unveiled a plan to save money by phasing out school textbooks in favour of internet aids.

Gov Schwarzenegger wants to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in state spending each year.

He says converting to online study will also help keep pupils more up-to-date.

California is facing a state budget gap of $24.3bn and Gov Schwarzenegger on Monday scrapped funding for contracts entered into after 1 March.

'Every penny'

The BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani says Gov Schwarzenegger believes internet activities such as Facebook, Twitter and downloading to iPods show that young people are the first to adopt new online technologies, and so the internet is also the best way to learn in classrooms.

FROM BBC WORLD SERVICE

From the beginning of the next school year in August, maths and science students in California's high schools will have access to online texts that have passed an academic standards review.

The governor says digital textbooks can be updated easily - so learning keeps pace with progress.

But our correspondent says the real reason Gov Schwarzenegger wants the change is money.

Last year California spent $350m on textbooks and can no longer afford it.

Authorities are making deep cuts to tackle the budget deficit.

On Monday, Gov Schwarzenegger signed an executive order to scrap funding on contracts from 1 March and bar state agencies from entering into new ones.

He said: "Every state agency and department will scrutinise how every penny is spent on contracts to make sure the state is getting the best deal for every taxpayer dollar."

The Republican governor has ruled out imposing higher taxes to meet the shortfall.

Last month voters rejected a raft of Gov Schwarzenegger's proposals to tackle the deficit.



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