The State Office of Education has negotiated a contract with WordPerfect Corp. that will make the company's word processing system available to the state's 700 public schools at a fraction (4 percent) of the normal cost.

"This is such a generous offer on the part of the WordPerfect Corporation that it seems inconceivable," said George I. Brown, state educational technology coordinator.WordPerfect is one of the most widely used systems in the world and in some instances prepares students to enter directly into computer-related jobs after graduation.

The company looks at the contract as an investment, said Jeff Acerson, WordPerfect's director of communications and public relations.

"We recognize the importance of a quality education based on basics and modern technology. The students in Utah schools demonstrate their competitiveness in all areas of learning and accomplishing. We want to extend the capabilities of these students and provide them with tools of technology that will enhance their knowledge of today's and tomorrow's challenging world."