The Los Angeles Unified School District’s iPad program was in trouble more or less from the very beginning. Not only were students putting the devices to unapproved uses, but it turns out that they didn’t come with the software they were supposed to and nobody had allocated funds to buy keyboards for them. (As BoingBoing asks, if they needed keyboards, why didn’t they just buy laptops?) The bidding process that led to the tablet purchase is under investigation by the FBI.

Happily, the school district and Apple have come to an agreement to refund the school district $4.2 million, and the district will be getting another $2.2 million back from Lenovo, who supplied laptops after the iPad portion of the program started having trouble. The proceeds will be used to buy more computers for schools that need them.

It seems that the iPad program was a little too ambitious. It involved a deal with Pearson to supply educational software that added $200 to the cost of each iPad, but the software wasn’t even complete in the first year, and teachers received only limited training on it. Hopefully the district will be able to move forward and a better educational computer program will come out of this.


  1. Sorry to derail the story, but does anyone else have problems reading text in Chrome because of the bar on the right side of the screen? In the last paragaph above, it cuts off at “Pearson to sup” and “distric”.

    Now back to the story… It seems like exactly the kind of thing Apple would want to do to get this right. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t spring for keyboards for them so they could show how well these could work for education if done the RIGHT way.

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