LAUSD Superintendent Scraps Controversial $1B iPad Program
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Unified School District is scrapping its controversial $1 billion iPad program.
Superintendent John Deasy sent a letter Monday to the Board of Education notifying them that he is ending his contract with Apple, according to the LA Times.
Recent emails revealed Deasy had a two-year business relationship with the technology giant prior to awarding Apple the district contract.
United Teachers Los Angeles, the union that represents LAUSD teachers, called for Deasy to explain his association with Apple and the lack of a bidding process involving other tablet makers.
“The superintendent does not get to just say, ‘never mind’ after all the problems the iPad rollout caused this district. Students, parents, and educators have a right to know what happened,” the union said.
KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin spoke with Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl and Superintendent Deasy at LAUSD’s board meeting Tuesday afternoon, where UTLA demanded answers in downtown Los Angeles.
At the meeting, Deasy said he’s putting the iPad and laptop program on hold this week to solicit other bids for the future of the program.
“I know the union president of UTLA talked about wanting to set up a joint committee of technology, we really welcome that and look forward to that,” Deasy said.
Caputo-Pearl demanded a formal, swift and thorough investigation, however, Deasy did not acknowledge the request at the meeting.
“Our members are very concerned, parents are very concerned, that we shouldn’t have cozy relationships with multi-billion dollar entities,” Caputo-Pear said. “Rather, we need to instead be building relationships and public trust with parents and educators.”
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office did do a review of the contract deal earlier, however, no wrong-doing was found. Caputo-Pearl said the district attorney’s office didn’t have all the facts at the time of the investigation.
The district’s iPad program was plagued with problems since its launch in 2013, including troubles tracking the devices, software updates, hacking and overall cost.