Los Angeles schools do $30 million iPad deal with Apple

Los Angeles schools do $30 million iPad deal with Apple

The Los Angeles Unified School District has agreed to a $30 million deal with Apple to put iPads into the hands of every student at 47 schools over the next two years. It's the first phase of a larger rollout for the school district, according to Apple.

The iPad deal is a pilot program: the LA Unified School District is the second-largest in the nation, with a total population of over 660,000 students and more than 1,100 schools. This will put iPads in the hands of 35,000 of those students. The iPads will come pre-loaded with iLife, third party educational software and the Pearson Common Core System of Courses, delivered through a new app. The iPads come with three-year warranties, including district-wide allowances for repair and replacement of damaged units.

A unanimous vote from the Board of Education favored Apple despite protestations from Microsoft, which encouraged the school district to avoid a "one-size-fits-all" solution. That idea was dismissed by district staff, contending that Apple offers the better product.

A teachers union representative asked for a delay in the vote and said the money should instead be used to rehire staff, but those pleas fell on deaf ears. The district wants to move ahead with the iPad plan to accommodate future state and federal computer-based testing of students.

The $30 million is being raised through the issuance of school bonds - an unusual move, though not unprecedented. Bond issuances are most often used for major capital projects like new construction.

Apple says that almost 10 million iPads are already in use in schools.

Source: LA Times via The Loop

Update [added details about educational software and link to Apple press release.]

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Los Angeles schools do $30 million iPad deal with Apple


My high school issued 850 iPads, one to each student, in our school. It doesn't work too well. Teachers have not found away to implement the iPads into every day learning efficiently without being a distraction. It's a mess.

Yeah -- exactly what a bankrupt-facing state needs. $30m worth of iPads for a single school district. California...

I assume the Teacher's Union will be demanding even more money for teacher salaries, even though the iPad is now going to do all of the heavy-lifting. Dear tax-payers in California... enjoy paying for Angry Birds - the new physics lab, and Plants vs Zombies - the new biology.

As an educator closely involved with educational technology, I could come up with a lot of pros and cons on either side of this argument.

There's one thing I do question heavily, however. My math tells me 30,000,000 divided by 35,000 students = $857 per iPad.

I don't have all the particulars (Apple Care Warranty, capacity of iPads, etc.), but it doesn't sound like they got a volume discount... That's the head scratcher IMHO.

Dear LA School District,

I can give you a better deal on MS Surface tablets. We are now giving away free keyboard covers with every purchase.

Please give us your business and join the tens of tens that love their surface tablet.

Bill Gates