Los Angeles school district's iPad program running grossly over budget

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
The Los Angeles Unified School District's $30 million program to outfit 47 campuses with iPads is running substantially richer than planned, with the system paying nearly $100 more per tablet than originally budgeted.



According to the district's latest budget disclosure, L.A. Unified is paying some $770 per iPad, about $100 more than the $678 per iPad figure quoted when the program was announced in June, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.

The discrepancy stems from confusion regarding the bulk purchase discount Apple agreed to supply with the iPad buy, which is part of the school system's $1 billion educational technology initiative. L.A. Unified is still eligible for the discounted pricing of $678 per device, but only after the district spends $400 million, worth 520,000 iPads.

As reported in July, the public school system planned to distribute 31,000 iPads across 47 schools in what Superintendent John Deasy called a "pilot test."

Originally, a $50 million budget was drawn up using an early estimated iPad price of $650, which allotted $20.3 million for the tablets and the rest for training and infrastructure expenses. In the latest budget, the district made an over $4 million adjustment to account for the additional iPad cost.

The publication noted that cost-per-unit is higher for the schools as each device comes with a protective case, three-year warranty, training and one Apple TV for every 20 students.

While L.A. Unified anticipates that it will reach the $400 million goal, not doing so would nullify the Apple contract, meaning the system would pay even more for the iPads.

The program came under scrutiny in September after a number of students bypassed the school-installed security safeguards, allowing them to browse the web and visit banned sites like Facebook and YouTube. The district consequently halted iPad home use, while some schools opted to repossess the devices.

For now, the program is still a go, though some aspects have been delayed, while others borrow money from the general school fund.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57

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  • Reply 2 of 57
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    I am guessing the people that approved the budget for the program obtained their math skills from somewhere within the LAUSD.

    -kpluck
  • Reply 3 of 57

    Lots of things run over budgets in this country.  ( Wars, Constructions etc... )

    While it is good to stay within budget, education is not a bad thing to spend money on.  

    Apple should help them as much as possible because it is important that this program succeeds in a big way.

     

    This program will pay off in the long term and without a doubt greatly improve education for a lot of kids who would never have had the opportunity otherwise, not to mention many adults who did not have the opportunity as children.

     

    The trick now is to maximize the learning and the communication for everyone.  LA must take full advantage of the system by finding innovative ways to put the iPads to use for children and adults for their tax money. Apple can help a lot with iCloud.  Life in the entire community can be greatly improved by this.

     

    Time will tell.

  • Reply 4 of 57
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

     

    Lots of things run over budgets in this country.  ( Wars, Constructions etc... )

    While it is good to stay within budget, education is not a bad thing to spend money on.  

    Apple should help them as much as possible because it is important that this program succeeds in a big way.

     

    This program will pay off in the long term and without a doubt greatly improve education for a lot of kids who would never have had the opportunity otherwise, not to mention many adults who did not have the opportunity as children.

     

    The trick now is to maximize the learning and the communication for everyone.  LA must take full advantage of the system by finding innovative ways to put the iPads to use for children and adults for their tax money. Apple can help a lot with iCloud.  Life in the entire community can be greatly improved by this.

     

    Time will tell.


     

    Yup, Apple is swimming in cash, so I hope exercise a little leniency in return for good press.

  • Reply 5 of 57
    red oakred oak Posts: 640member
    Maybe the contract was written in English, so school admin officials did not really understand the fundamental terms

    Like the very basic one of having to meet a volume target to get a discount

    I know, it's so complicated
  • Reply 6 of 57
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post



    Maybe the contract was written in English, so school admin officials did not really understand the fundamental terms



    Like the very basic one of having to meet a volume target to get a discount



    I know, it's so complicated

     

    Yeah, screw you education system. Pay up! We need your money, don't dick us around. Those half million iPad sales could add a few cents to my share price. /s

  • Reply 7 of 57
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

     

    The trick now is to maximize the learning and the communication for everyone.  LA must take full advantage of the system by finding innovative ways to put the iPads to use for children and adults for their tax money.


     

    I would hope that they already had a comprehensive plan to add value to their curriculum with demonstrably tangible results before deciding to blow a BILLION dollars on iPads. If the kids just end up dicking around with them, the money would have been better spent on more teachers and scanners to catch kids carrying guns/knives.

     

    I've got two kids with me from Japan, studying in English because their (wealthy top international surgeon) father believes they will have better opportunities in working life if fluent in English. They're on school vacation right now, but if they could drag themselves away from dicking with their iPads to actually learn something for just five minutes perhaps they'd stand a chance. As it looks to me, they waste too much time playing trivial games and will fail their exams miserably.

     

    Children today don't need any encouragement to cling onto whatever electronic device they are obsessed with and waste the days away. Dishing them out in school is lunacy. We need to 'de-normalize' this obsession with gadgets.

  • Reply 8 of 57
    The LAUSD budget is $7 Billion per year. $4 Million is 0.06% of their annual budget. If these things are on a 3 year lifecycle, then divide that by 3.

    You should also know that all schools in California pay sales tax, 9% now in LA.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,425member

    I believe that iPads can be a great asset to education, and I wish that such devices existed back when I was a kid in school. It sure beats carrying around a bunch of heavy, old books, with obscene scribbles all over the pages.

     

    This story isn't really about iPads at all though. The takeaway that I get from the story is that this is simply yet another example of gross incompetence, extreme negligence and the potential criminal misuse and waste of taxpayer dollars, perpetrated by clueless and lazy bureaucrats working for an inept and amateurish government, where there is practically no accountability for anything.

     

    But looking on the bright side, at least their incompetence benefits Apple, which in turn benefits me. 

  • Reply 10 of 57
    Send in the Terminator!
  • Reply 11 of 57
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,771member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    potential criminal misuse and waste of taxpayer dollars




    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    a great asset to education


     

    Does not compute.

  • Reply 12 of 57
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

     

     

    Does not compute.


     

    Buying the iPads is good. Going grossly over budget is not.

  • Reply 13 of 57
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,771member

    If the budget was too low due to a misunderstanding of a bulk purchase deal then that's a fault of budgeting, it doesn't mean that the money is being poorly spent (on "great assets") or that there is anything criminal going on.  Temper your anti-government rhetoric.

  • Reply 14 of 57
    rcfarcfa Posts: 756member
    The general issue is that there's the false belief education gets better when one just throws enough money and thechnology at it, when back in the times of ink wells, chalk and blackboards people got an education most just can dream about today.

    I'm sure e.g. spelling correction on the iPads does wonders to kids ability to master their language...

    Also yet to be seen how healthy it is to stare for hours on actively lit screens both in classroom and out, as compared with eye friendly paper or even e-ink (if it absolutely has to be electronic books)

    Not that iPads can't help improving certain aspects of education, like e.g. tracking where a supposedly called-in sick kid is by using "find my iPad" and holding parents responsible, but the iPads by themselves will not solve what's fundamentally broken in the US education system.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    I get a chuckle out of those that would have Apple "cut the district some slack" since Apple has so much cash. How in the world is Apple in any way the bad guy and why would you imply they hold responsibility here?

    LAUSD entered in the best possible contract negotiating big discounts. LAUSD took advantage of Apple with aggressive educational pricing and wrangled further discounts, 3-year warranty, covers, free Apple TVs and training. WTH??

    IT'S NOT APPLE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO DO LAUSD'S BUDGETS FOR THEM.

    Lastly, I love the budget mishaps. Some dude used $650 price which they got out of thin air, then after the signed the contract, no one ever though to verify and reconcile the actual pricing of the iPads which are either $770 or $678, but not $650.

    LAUSD, this is your problem. Step up, use this to your advantage and give Apple some slack in the form of air cover. Tell the world that Apple is a good, upstanding company and had nothing to do with the budget mishap.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    Schools are so full of it. They use iPads more as a marketing tool to attract students than as an educational tool. Private schools went first to lure parents and kids away from public schools. Now public schools use market them to lure them back. In reality, the schools do a terrible job of managing them and using them effectively in the classroom. The cost to the student has gone up because the student is often forced to pay insurance on the device. Ebooks have show little to no savings over traditional books and textbooks.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    Can someone from government FOR ONCE tell me that something came in under budget?
  • Reply 18 of 57
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    rcfa wrote: »
    The general issue is that there's the false belief education gets better when one just throws enough money and thechnology at it, when back in the times of ink wells, chalk and blackboards people got an education most just can dream about today.

    I'm sure e.g. spelling correction on the iPads does wonders to kids ability to master their language...

    Also yet to be seen how healthy it is to stare for hours on actively lit screens both in classroom and out, as compared with eye friendly paper or even e-ink (if it absolutely has to be electronic books)

    Not that iPads can't help improving certain aspects of education, like e.g. tracking where a supposedly called-in sick kid is by using "find my iPad" and holding parents responsible, but the iPads by themselves will not solve what's fundamentally broken in the US education system.

    I sure don't see any problem with the school district stalking my kids¡

    Otherwise great post.
  • Reply 19 of 57

    i do not see the logic in giving students iPads.  A Chrome Book would make more sense IMO.  Basically the kids need acess to the internet, Google Docs would let them write reports, term papers, create presentations, spreadsheets, etc...  Sure you can still hack the Chrome Book to run Linux but having a keyboard on a dirt cheap device for kids who are going to loose, break, have stolen, etc... an IPad is not what they really need.

  • Reply 20 of 57
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

     

    Lots of things run over budgets in this country.  ( Wars, Constructions etc... )

    While it is good to stay within budget, education is not a bad thing to spend money on.  

    Apple should help them as much as possible because it is important that this program succeeds in a big way.

     

    This program will pay off in the long term and without a doubt greatly improve education for a lot of kids who would never have had the opportunity otherwise, not to mention many adults who did not have the opportunity as children.

     

    The trick now is to maximize the learning and the communication for everyone.  LA must take full advantage of the system by finding innovative ways to put the iPads to use for children and adults for their tax money. Apple can help a lot with iCloud.  Life in the entire community can be greatly improved by this.

     

    Time will tell.


    Wars, i.e. defending the country is a requirement of the federal government under the Constitution.  Department of Education is not.  Kids don't need an iPad to learn.  They need good teachers and good family values at home to encourage their development.  An iPad accomplishes neither.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post



    Maybe the contract was written in English, so school admin officials did not really understand the fundamental terms



    Like the very basic one of having to meet a volume target to get a discount



    I know, it's so complicated

    I was thinking it was written in cursive.  ;-)

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnnyHo View Post



    I get a chuckle out of those that would have Apple "cut the district some slack" since Apple has so much cash. How in the world is Apple in any way the bad guy and why would you imply they hold responsibility here?



    LAUSD entered in the best possible contract negotiating big discounts. LAUSD took advantage of Apple with aggressive educational pricing and wrangled further discounts, 3-year warranty, covers, free Apple TVs and training. WTH??



    IT'S NOT APPLE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO DO LAUSD'S BUDGETS FOR THEM.



    Lastly, I love the budget mishaps. Some dude used $650 price which they got out of thin air, then after the signed the contract, no one ever though to verify and reconcile the actual pricing of the iPads which are either $770 or $678, but not $650.



    LAUSD, this is your problem. Step up, use this to your advantage and give Apple some slack in the form of air cover. Tell the world that Apple is a good, upstanding company and had nothing to do with the budget mishap.

    In government speak $100 is a rounding error.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

     

    i do not see the logic in giving students iPads.  A Chrome Book would make more sense IMO.  Basically the kids need acess to the internet, Google Docs would let them write reports, term papers, create presentations, spreadsheets, etc...  Sure you can still hack the Chrome Book to run Linux but having a keyboard on a dirt cheap device for kids who are going to loose, break, have stolen, etc... an IPad is not what they really need.


    I go back and forth on this one.  I'd love to see everyone using Apple products however Chrome Books are definitely more bang for the buck.  If its really about "educating the children" it shouldn't matter what technology is used.  Having iPads seems more like bragging rights than solving an educational issue.  Neither Chrome Books or iPads are going to last very long in that environment, why not go for the considerably cheaper solution?

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