Apple CEO: Children deserve a 'great public education'


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Apple CEO Tim Cook decried Monday how many American children “aren’t given a right for a great public education” while discussing the company’s efforts to put more technology in schools.

“I think technology has to be a key part, and so that’s why we’re here. I wouldn’t be where I am today without a great public education,” Cook said on "Good Morning America." “Too many times today, kids aren’t given a right for a great public education. And this isn’t right, it’s not fair."

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The company is part of the White House’s ConnectED initiative, which aims to increase the proliferation of technology in public schools. Last year, it said it would donate $100 million in products to public schools through the program.

“Kids today, they’re born in a digital world,” Cook said Monday. “But too many kids, when it comes time for the 8 o’clock bell to ring, go to an analog world.”

He said the program should be judged, in part, by whether it leads to more students pursuing higher education.

“You look for engagement,” he said. “And you look for how many kids move on to higher education then, so that education is something they desire.”

Cook has more readily weighed in on political issues than his predecessor, Steve Jobs. The CEO, who is openly gay, has voiced his support for same-sex marriage and criticized “religious freedom” bills that advocates say could give businesses license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The company also announced this year that Lisa Jackson, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator who was hired to lead environmental initiatives, had been elevated to “vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.” Apple has also recently hired a former top aide at the LGBT group the Human Rights Campaign to join its communications team.