If a system can save $$ by using electronic books, I don’t have a problem with that. Catholic schools here in Indiana are using them, and believe me they are the ones that struggle with budgets.
It isn’t a budget issue, it’s the application. Kids see computers, iPads, iPhones, iPods and the like as toys, NOT learning tools.
In addition, I will be quite surprised to see what the maintenance costs on these devices will be. Unless the kids, themselves have to pay for it, it’s just another free toy and they will be neither careful nor respectful of the instrument.
I’ve been their age and I have been a teacher. I know how these devices will be treated and I think it is worse than a bad idea to try to use them as an educational tool.