Hundred-Dollar-Laptop Project Slashes Staff

In another sign of the growing financial strain on nonprofit groups, the One Laptop Per Child program is paring its staff in half.

The project, a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that sells durable, green-and-white laptops to developing countries for use in grade schools, will be left with just 32 employees at reduced salaries.

"Like many other nonprofits that are facing tough economic times, One Laptop Per Child must downsize in order to keep costs in line with fewer financial resources," Nicholas Negroponte, the group's founder, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

He said the project remains committed to its goals, but it was not immediately clear how the cutbacks would affect the group's operations.

A project spokesman confirmed the post Thursday morning but would not elaborate on the details.

The group is looking to bring the cost of its computers, which use less power than ordinary PCs and run on open-source software, down to $100 from $199.

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