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
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

smithrh Avatar
87 months ago
And they wonder why the average student can't function in society.

A book has an 'infinent' lifespan.

Oh, the irony.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sputnikv Avatar
87 months ago
That seems like a tremendous amount of money for a school district to have.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
octothorpe8 Avatar
87 months 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.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoEw Avatar
87 months 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gasu E. Avatar
87 months ago
That seems like a tremendous amount of money for a school district to have.

640K+ students.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kar98 Avatar
87 months ago
which included the software

Overpriced Pearson software.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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