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L.A. Unified School District Suspends $1 Billion iPad Contract with Apple

Los Angeles school district superintendent John Deasy halted the district's iPad contract with Apple in mid-rollout, reports the LA Times. The $1-billion multi-year contract would supply LAUSD students with iPads that were pre-loaded with curriculum from Pearson.

students-ipad
The contract was administered in phases with an initial $30-million investment to equip a pilot group of students with iPads. Additional payments totaling almost $1 billion would expand the project to additional students and build out the wireless infrastructure to support tablet usage at the district's schools. Each phase was subject to approval with the option of canceling the project if it no longer met the district's needs.

Deasy's suspension follows criticism of the project rollout and its bidding process, which some claim was modified to favor Apple and Pearson. While issues with securing the iPads surfaced shortly after rollout, the contractual complaints were detailed in a district technology committee draft report that was obtained recently by the LA Times.
Among the findings was that the initial rules for winning the contract appeared to be tailored to the products of the eventual winners — Apple and Pearson — rather than to demonstrated district needs. The report found that key changes to the bidding rules were made after most of the competition had been eliminated under the original specifications.

In addition, the report said that past comments or associations with vendors, including Deasy, created an appearance of conflict even if no ethics rules were violated.
While Deasy responds to these criticisms, the technology program at LAUSD is moving forward with other devices and alternative curriculum being adopted by schools in the district. The district is expected to purchase up to 18,000 laptops with Apple and Pearson invited to bid on this new contract.

Related roundup: iPad Air 2

Top Rated Comments

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8 weeks ago

And they wonder why the average student can't function in society.


A book has an 'infinent' lifespan.


Oh, the irony.
Rating: 31 Votes
8 weeks ago
That seems like a tremendous amount of money for a school district to have.
Rating: 21 Votes
8 weeks ago
Yeah, given that the bond measure was for school infrastructure and their buildings are crumbling, this is a good move. Also doesn't help that the devices were a trojan horse to get a specific educational publisher's products into the hands of students (at a great cost, of course).

They were also paying $800/iPad, which is just disgusting.
Rating: 20 Votes
8 weeks ago

Hey Apple,

Perhaps consider a volume discount in the future. IDK


the bulk of the price was likely Pearson content, Apple does offer volume education discounts.
Rating: 15 Votes
8 weeks ago

That seems like a tremendous amount of money for a school district to have.


640K+ students.
Rating: 14 Votes
8 weeks ago

Yeah, given that the bond measure was for school infrastructure and their buildings are crumbling, this is a good move. Also doesn't help that the devices were a trojan horse to get a specific educational publisher's products into the hands of students (at a great cost, of course).

They were also paying $800/iPad, which is just disgusting.


which included the software
Rating: 11 Votes
8 weeks ago

which included the software


Overpriced Pearson software.
Rating: 11 Votes
8 weeks ago

That seems like a tremendous amount of money for a school district to have.


And yet nobody blinks twice when professional sports teams toss around hundreds of millions on a 25-man roster.
Rating: 10 Votes
8 weeks ago

And yet nobody blinks twice when professional sports teams toss around hundreds of millions on a 25-man roster.


Professional sports teams with money from seasons passes, tickets, accessories, toys, clothing, games, overpriced food/alcohol, etc and public schools that are paid for with taxes are two completely different things
Rating: 9 Votes
8 weeks ago
A school I used to work in purchased dozens of iPads and the teachers didn't have the first clue what to do with them. I'm all for getting technology in to the classroom but just throwing money at it and hoping it all works out is not the answer. It made me feel sick to see tens of thousands of dollars spent on iPads and they were primarily used as mediocre cameras.
Rating: 8 Votes

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