In doing so, the board opted not to follow the advice of an oversight panel that had recommended purchasing thousands of fewer devices.
In the end, board members -- who said they wanted to avoid unnecessary spending -- approved a proposal that removed entirely a cap on how many iPads
The oversight committee, relying on a district analysis, had recommended purchasing about 38,500 for testing. The iPads used for testing would be shared by different classes during a six-week exam window.
The larger number was calculated when the upcoming state test was twice as long. It was never adjusted because district staff decided that a cushion would be helpful. Critics have accused officials of simply trying to buy as many iPads as they could, to institutionalize the
The measure, approved Tuesday by a 6-0 vote, also provides iPads to every student at an additional 38 campuses. In the fall, the program began at 47 schools. The district action also authorized testing out laptops for students at seven high schools.
The estimated cost of the board action is $115 million.
There also were other iPad developments. L.A. schools Supt.
Officials are negotiating a lower price for thousands of iPads that will be used only for testing, a reduction of about $200 to $300 less per device.
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 iPads would not include curriculum developed by Pearson. Also not included in the testing package would be training from Apple and Pearson and an
The curriculum is being excluded 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.