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JUST IN: LAUSD nearing $6 million settlement with Apple, Pearson

Mike Szymanski | September 11, 2015

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Superintendent Ramon Cortines

LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines said yesterday the district is close to finalizing a $6 million-plus settlement deal with Apple and Pearson over the botched iPad program.

In a statement this afternoon, the district confirmed that it was engaged in “cooperative discussions with our vendors” to resolve concerns about the the companies’ contribution to the district’s Instructional Technology Initiative.

“Given the cooperative nature of these discussions, we anticipate there will be a settlement proposal for the LAUSD Board of Education to consider in the near future. the statement said.”

Even before sharing information about the pending deal with the school board, which must approve any final deal, Cortines revealed details of the settlement late yesterday, while attending a meeting of the district’s new technology task force.

“It’s not what I want,” Cortines told the task force. “It will be $6 million-plus, and I want to pour all of that back into technology.”

Cortines launched the new school year’s meetings for the ITI Task Force that will decide how to mix computer technology into the classroom instruction. He said he plans to take the money from the settlement and put a small amount aside for technology repair.

He also said he would propose that some of the money would be “set aside for grants for schools that write exciting grants.” He emphasized that he wanted to help the school with the most needs but also be fair throughout all six of the Local Districts.

“I don’t want to penalize the schools that begged, borrowed and sold cupcakes to bring technology to their schools,” he told the task force.

Cortines explained he would like to see a $1-to-$1 matching program for some schools with innovative technology plans. And, if there are schools that will use technology from elementary to middle school to high school, he would like to see a $2-to-$1 match from the district using the settlement money.

Previously, the district demanded a refund from Apple for iPads loaded with Pearson software as part of the failed $1.3 billion program to get an iPad to every LA Unified student.

The district’s chief legal advisor, David Holmquist, noted that Apple and Pearson had failed to deliver on the promise of “a state-of-the-art technological solution for [the district’s Instructional Technology Initiative] implementation” and noted that the district is “extremely dissatisfied.”

The district had asked for a multi-million dollar refund for the failed plan that led to the resignation of previous Superintendent John Deasy.


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