LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — After outcry from critics who say schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District are poorly maintained while the district spends a $1 billion to furnish students with iPads, a district official says buildings are safe and constantly monitored.

“Our schools are very safe,” Roger Finstad, the district’s director of maintenance and operations, told a meeting of the school board’s Budget, Facilities ad Audit Committee. “We’re in them every day. We have people that are surveying them often. There is no question about the safety of our schools.

Finstad briefed the committee on the district’s maintenance assessment program, which is in its second phase. Nearly 60 schools, mainly older high schools, have been surveyed so far, he said. The survey is aimed at helping the board decide which of the LAUSD’s 13,527 buildings – which are about 50 years old on average – to tackle first.

A Facebook page titled “Repairs Not Ipads” reportedly created by an unidentified LAUSD employee posted photos of crumbling school infrastructure and unsanitary classrooms, including one of a dead rat in a classroom.

The locations of the campuses where the photos were allegedly taken were not immediately identified.

The page had nearly 4,000 “Likes” as of Thursday.

On Wednesday, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy expressed his commitment to a $1 billion plan to give all students iPads — an effort that has been criticized as short-sighted since the gadgets were given away at 47 schools in the fall. The district spent about $768 for each iPad it initially bought.

RELATED: Viral Facebook Page Calls For LAUSD ‘Repairs Not iPads’

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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