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L.A. Now Live: Discuss L.A. Unified's $1-billion iPad rollout

October 18, 2013
  • Students at Theodore Roosevelt High School had to give back their iPads after some of their classmates disabled security filters and browsed unauthorized websites.
Students at Theodore Roosevelt High School had to give back their iPads… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

Discuss the Los Angeles Unified School District’s plans for a $1-billion rollout of iPads with Times reporter Howard Blume at 9 a.m.

The rollout of the program would be extended by a year under a new plan by the LAUSD, doubling the time originally allotted for getting tablets to every student.

The slowdown is a substantial concession by L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy to critics inside and outside the system who questioned whether the district has been pushing too fast in distributing about 650,000 devices to teachers and students.

Problems quickly arose as the devices were distributed to 47 campuses this fall. More than 300 students at three schools disabled security filters and browsed unauthorized websites. As a result, all students on those campus were required to return their tablets; students at other campuses must use the devices only on school grounds. There also has been confusion over issues such as whether parents are financially liable if an iPad is lost or broken.

Deasy has defended the pace and scope of the program as a civil rights imperative: to give low-income students in his school system the same digital advantages as more prosperous families.

Deasy and Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino told The Times that they've decided that a slower pace will lead to a more effective result — logistically and academically.

Under the new plan, 36 additional campuses would receive iPads by April. Then, 450 campuses would get the devices the following school year. Remaining campuses would receive them by December 2015, a year later than previously planned.

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