In June 2013, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) placed a huge order for iPads in an attempt to better integrate technology within the classroom. A year later, school district officials said that they were considering deploying alternative devices, including rival tablets and laptops. The district has now suspended its $1 billion multi-year contract mid-rollout, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In a note to the LAUSD Board of Education, superintendent John Deasy said “moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple Inc.”
The suspension comes after many have criticized the project rollout and its bidding process:
Among the findings was that the initial rules for winning the contract appeared to be tailored to the products of the eventual winners — Apple and Pearson — rather than to demonstrated district needs. The report found that key changes to the bidding rules were made after most of the competition had been eliminated under the original specifications.
In addition, the report said that past comments or associations with vendors, including Deasy, created an appearance of conflict even if no ethics rules were violated.
The report notes that the iPad rollout never moved beyond the pilot stage, which cost the district $30 million. Each phase was subject to approval with the option of canceling the project if it no longer met the district’s needs. Moving forward, the LAUSD is expected to purchase up to 18,000 laptops. Apple is being invited to bid on this new contract.
Apple, heavily promoted its agreement with LAUSD when it was first announced.