A Maine school system may be adding the iPad 2 to its list of mandatory kindergarten classroom items, with the district covering the costs.

The Auburn Schools Committee voted unanimously to provide all kindergartners with an iPad 2 next year.

Each subsequent kindergarten class would receive individual devices as well.

According to a report filed on CNN, It would cost the district about $200,000 next year, with Apple cutting them a deal by charging $475 per iPad.

Superintendent Tom Morrill says the district will find the money in the budget and through grants.

“What we’re seeing is that this is an essential tool — even more important than a book. It’s a learning tool they need to have.”

Skeptical (read jealous) community members say the kids are too young to take care of an iPad and that they simply don’t need it.

For some specifics on the financial investment, mactrast.com is reporting that the district will spend $200,000 and purchase 285 iPad 2’s for each of its kindergarten students this fall. The $200,000 investment, will include software and teacher training.

What do you think? I’ve got 2 iPads in my house, and both my 6 and 9 year old know how to work darn near everything on the devices. They read books, do homework, and do research quickly and efficiently. I’m thinking this is going to eventually become the norm.

Your thoughts?

[story via CNN | image via mactrast.com]