Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pearl on Monday called on the L.A. Board of Education to launch an investigation into Supt. John Deasy’s relationship with executives from companies that won key contracts related to the $1-billion effort to provide a computer to every student.
The Times reported Monday that Deasy and his chief deputy at the time, Jaime Aquino, appear to have been discussing the school system’s effort to supply students computers equipped with online curriculum with executives from tech giant Apple Inc. and education publisher Pearson at least two years before a bidding process was concluded and the contracts were approved, records show.
The collaboration between the officials and the executives support findings from an internal school district report, which found that officials' actions could have created an impression of unfairness in the bidding process.
Educators -- including United Teachers Los Angeles -- are troubled that Deasy is putting more power into the hands of private entities and less into the hands of parents and the public.
"The possible illegalities involved, the possible collusion with private corporations -- it seems to be continuing a pattern of autocratic decision-making on the part of John Deasy,” Caputo-Pearl said. “We need to get to the bottom of this.”
The superintendent has said that there was nothing improper about the bidding process.
Caputo-Pearl will speak to the board at a meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The union also wants the district to revive the board's technology committee to oversee the computer program.
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