Superintendent John Deasy wants to buy every teacher and student in Los Angeles Unified School District a tablet computer within a year or two — 700,000 of the electronic devices, he figures — and pay for it with bonds that were passed by voters to build, repair and update school facilities.
Deasy isn't the only one eager to use bond money to buy tablets, though L.A. Unified's purchase would be uniquely ambitious in its size and reach. In fact, though the legality is somewhat sketchy, this is becoming as much a trend as starting up charter schools.
So far, though, Deasy doesn't know which tablets he's interested in buying or have an estimate of how much they might cost. He hasn't figured out whether students would take their tablets home to do their homework and, if they do, how the district would keep them and the devices safe (it would be widely known that students were carrying expensive equipment around) or who would pay if the tablets were lost or broken.
Despite the lack of details, Deasy is forging ahead with a request for "conceptual approval." The school board will discuss the matter next week, and the bond oversight committee will consider it the following week.