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Henrico School Board to discuss laptop deal

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WTVR) -- Putting new laptops in the hands of students is the goal of Henrico County's School Board, however it may be more difficult to make happen than first thought.

Just last month board members got blasted for approving a laptop deal with Dell without going through the proper procedures. Tonight school leaders are back to the drawing board to discuss the plan.

In April the board voted to approve a multi-year, $17 million deal with Dell that would give new laptops to county high school students and staff. Henrico County is currently dealing with a budget shortfall and the county manager ordered a purchasing freeze.

Days after the board gave the go-ahead, County Manager John Vithoulkas sent the district a letter saying he ordered the contract stopped because the board 'provided no clear direction' on how to pay for the deal. He added the board never allowed the public to weigh in.

Tonight, county school leaders will revisit the contract.

“Thursday’s presentation gives the School Board the opportunity to hear about the project, to receive public comments, and to consider the contract award and whether to ratify it or modify it in some way," Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks wrote in an email.

Tonight's laptop presentation is set to take place during the board's 6:00 p.m. meeting inside the New Bridge Auditorium, 5915 Nine Mile Road.  It is open to everyone.