TARZANA (CBSLA.com) — LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy received difficult questions Monday night from parents concerned about the district’s controversial plan to buy more iPads for students rather than investing in more teachers and school supplies.
The $1 billion technology project has angered many parents and teachers, who were present and accounted for at a parents meeting at Portola Middle School in Tarzana.
As discussions between parents and the superintendent became heated on occasion, Deasy did what he could to control emotions.
“I don’t come to your house and yell at you,” Deasy could be heard saying to the crowd at one point.
While the superintendent addressed a number of issues, the clear question from parents throughout the night was the district’s decision to use taxpayer-approved bond money for iPads instead of repairing schools.
The group Repairs Not iPads, growing on Facebook, has displayed pictures of what they say are areas in need of crucial repairs.
“We have lockers that are falling apart, we have floors that need to be scrubbed,” parent Sue Roth said. “The list does go on.”
The meeting allowed parents to submit questions before-hand on index cards, with many saying they were there primarily to discuss the iPads.
However, only a couple of iPad questions were actually read.
When the topic of iPads versus school maintenance did come up, the superintendent suggested technology was the future, and that it ought to be district’s focus.
“Content is more and more going to become digital,” Deasy said at the meeting. “And so the work of maintaining that inventory will drop and the ability to support ongoing technology is going to increase.”
A number of parents, as well as teachers, said that their questions, however, were not answered.
“All along, we’ve been asking that the basic infrastructure of our schools be adequate for out students, and be safe for our students,” LAUSD teacher Lisa Karahalios said. “And he didn’t answer that question.”