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L.A. Now Live: More issues with rollout of iPads at LAUSD

November 20, 2013

This post has been corrected.

Join Times staff writer Howard Blume at 9 a.m. for another installment of our ongoing L.A. Now Live discussions about the rollout of iPads at Los Angeles Unified.

In his latest article, Blume reported that, contradicting earlier claims, Los Angeles school district officials said Tuesday that their right to use English and math curricula installed on district iPads expires after three years.

At market rates, buying a new license for the curricula would cost $50 to $100 each year per iPad, an additional cost that could surpass $60 million annually. The expense would add to the price tag of the $1-billion effort to provide a tablet to every teacher and student in the nation's second-largest school system.

The iPad program had a delayed and troubled rollout. Early on, the district ordered them kept at schools after students bypassed security filters so they could freely browse the Internet. Another issue has been the release of conflicting, misleading or incomplete information. Such an issue arose Tuesday.

In an article earlier this week, Blume  also wrote about officials' hope to spend $135 million in the spring semester for the next portion of the iPad rollout.

In that article, the compromise was characterized as a slowdown of the $1-billion effort to provide iPads to every student and teacher in the nation’s second-largest school system. But the pace would not be slow compared to the first phase of the distribution this fall.

Providing iPads to the first group of 47 schools cost about $50 million. The spring spending, if it gets final approval, would more than double that.

The money would pay for 24,541 tablets at 38 schools and 28,385 iPads for teachers and administrators across the school system. The plan also calls for buying an additional 67,480 tablets to allow for all students to take new state standardized tests with the iPad on a rotating basis. In addition, the plan calls for buying more than 116,000 keyboards and 2,000 storage and charging carts.

Join Blume online at 9 a.m. for our L.A. Now Live discussion. Readers can send in their questions and comments and we'll get to as many of them as we can.

[For the record at 8:15 p.m.: From Howard Blume: In the chat below, I said that L.A. Unified Dept. Supt. Jaime Aquino deleted mention of his job with Pearson from the bio he sent to me. That was misstated. It's true that the bio does not mention Pearson. I don't know if it ever did. But the bio does mention that Aquino worked for America's Choice, which is an affiliate of Pearson. In a subsequent communication today, Aquino said that America's Choice was acquired by Pearson after he'd begun working for America's Choice. My apologies to Dept. Supt. Aquino for not making the connection between America's Choice and Pearson.] 

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