Los Angeles Unified School District officials won the backing of a bond oversight committee today to spend another $13 million to purchase thousands of iPads and laptops for use in student testing planned for the spring.
The $13 million, which still needs the approval of the district Board of Education, would be used along with about $9 million in previously approved bond funds.
The latest round of funding is expected to help the district purchase nearly 15,000 iPads, keyboards, and 4,000 Chromebook laptops. The devices are intended solely to be used for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing, and will not be loaded with educational curriculum.
Overall, the district plans to purchase more than 20,000 iPads.
The district’s effort to purchase instructional iPads or laptops for all of its students ground to a halt earlier this year when questions arose about then-Superintendent John Deasy’s relationship with eventual contract winners Apple and education publisher Pearson. Deasy agreed to scrap the contract and solicit new bids.
The latest devices, however, are intended to be used only for testing and will not include any instructional software.
— City News Service