Update: Controversy Awaits $30 Million iPad Vote
Hillel Aron | June 17, 2013
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The School Board will face a mini controversy tomorrow when it votes on whether or not to to purchase roughly 31,000 Apple iPad tablets at a cost to LAUSD of $30 million.
The appropriation would be the first step in Superintendent John Deasy’s ambitious plan of equipping every student and teacher with a touch-screen tablet computer.
The district received 13 bids for the contract, three of which were found to be within “competitive range.” Superintendent John Deasy defended the decision to go with Apple. “It is the best product that went through the bidding process,” he said.
However, the LA Times‘s Steve Lopez pointed out that Deasy appeared in an Apple video in January of 2012, promoting the use of textbooks on iPads.
“We had decided to adopt iPad technology as we were trying to provide ways for increasing student achievement,” says Deasy in the video. “They’re phenomenally going to change the landscape of education.”
And a source working for one of the other two bidders claims that his client’s bid was $200-per-device cheaper than Apple’s.
Deasy will recuse himself from the discussion at tomorrow’s Board meeting, he has told LA School Report, because he owns 11 shares of Apple stock through his retirement account. Board member Bennett Kayser will also recuse himself from both the discussion and the vote for a similar conflict.
The iPad procurement represents Phase I of LAUSD’s technology plan, expected to cost half a billion dollars and to be completed by the end of 2014, in time to prepare students for taking the new California Standardized Tests on computers.
Previous posts: Board Preview: Budget, Parent Trigger, iPads; Will Apple Tax Dodge Hurt Its Chances In LAUSD?; Deasy’s Tablet Plan Blocked; A Computer Tablet On Every Desk