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Audit says $2.1 million in L.A. school computers unaccounted for

Audit says $2.1 million in L.A. school computers unaccounted for
Bianca Gomez, left, Humberto Salazar and Doroteo Cruz were happy to receive iPads at Roosevelt High last year. Some Roosevelt students deleted security filters on the devices. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District was unable to account for $2.1 million in recently purchased computers, mostly iPads, according to a recent audit performed by the school system's inspector general.

District officials, however, said they found many of the missing devices after auditors had concluded their review.

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Auditors, however, were unable to verify this and, as a result, believe that the losses could be greater.

For the most part, the missing iPads were not part of last fall's first phase of a program to provide a computer to every student, teacher and campus administrator.

Still, auditors did not mince words about the general state of care during their review, which concluded near the end of the last school year.

"The District did not have a complete, adequate, and centralized inventory record of all of its computers," according to the report. "In addition, there was an increased potential for fraud, misuse and abuse of District resources."

The audit is dated July 29 and is posted on the inspector general's website.

The findings are coming to light even as officials say they are prepared to send iPads home with students. The district has insisted that it can now track lost or stolen iPads and also shut them down so that they are of no use to thieves. School police have emphasized the latter point as a safety measure to discourage the targeting of students. They also don't want students risking injury by resisting thieves.

Administrators briefly allowed students to take iPads home last year, but called them back after students deleted security filters so they could freely browse the Web.

The review was conducted from January through April 2014, looking at purchases made from Apple and Arey Jones, a third-party vendor, from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2013.

Twitter: @howardblume

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