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L.A. Unified negotiates lower price for iPads

Apple iPadApple TVJustin BieberLos Angeles Unified School District

L.A. school district officials are negotiating a lower price for thousands of iPads that are part of a $1-billion effort to provide tablets to every student, teacher and administrator. The reduced price, about $200 to $300 less per device, would apply to as many as 67,500 iPads that would be used initially only for new state tests in the spring.

The discount would lower the price per iPad from $768 each to a cost that is more in line with what some other school districts are paying. The reduction results from features or services that the iPads for testing would not include. The primary savings is from leaving off curriculum developed by Pearson. Also not included in the testing package would be training from Apple and Pearson and an Apple TV box that is provided to every classroom under the full contract, said Mark Hovatter, head of facilities for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The curriculum is being left off because the license to use the curriculum only lasts three years. If the curriculum were included on the testing machines, the license would be activated even though the curriculum would not be used in the current academic year, said Scott Folsom, a member of an oversight committee that reviews school bond spending. These bonds are being used to pay for the vast majority of costs in the iPad effort.

The Board of Education is scheduled Tuesday to vote on the next phase of the project, which would add 38 campuses to 47 schools that began participating in the program in the fall. The proposal also includes trying laptops at seven high schools. The 67,500 testing devices would be in addition to these other computers.

 

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Twitter: @howardblume

howard.blume@latimes.com

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