LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The L.A. Unified School District is under scrutiny for agreeing to purchase $30M in iPads for students.
The plan was approved Tuesday by the Board of Education, who are using funds from a 2008 voter-approved bond issue to upgrade school technology.
Before the vote, United Teachers Los Angeles President Warren Fletcher asked board members to delay their decision. The expenditure has struck a nerve with the teachers union who, after having undergone major layoffs and imposed furloughs, claim the funds would be better spent on rehiring staff members.
Even Apple’s competitor was on hand to criticize the move.
“Microsoft is disappointed to learn that the district staff is recommending that only Apple iPad devices be utilized in the pilot phase of the common core technology project,” said company spokesperson Robin Hinz.
But LAUSD officials stood behind their decision.
“This has gone beyond my expectations in terms of the level of integrity and ethics. I think the guiding principle that drove everybody was: What is in the best interest of our kids? I can attest to that. I can sleep tonight, after you vote this contract, I can sleep tonight with my conscience very clear that we did the right thing for our kids,” LAUSD’s Dr. Jaime Aquino said.
When school starts up again in August, 35,000 of Apple’s tablet computers will be supplied to 47 LAUSD schools.
Board members say the goal is to eventually provide an iPad to every teacher and student in the district.