By guest blogger Michelle R. Davis
The Los Angeles Unified School District's iPad contract has been under serious scrutiny for some time, but the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office has now said it will not file criminal charges related to the deal.
Last year, the 641,000-student district's efforts to launch a 1-to-1 device initiative—expected to cost $1 billion over time—took serious heat after criticisms around cost, financing, and bids for the contract arose.
But the district attorney's office reviewed a complaint regarding the district's iPad contract, and in March closed the file, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the office. No criminal charges were filed.
The Los Angeles Times reported this week, however, that an 18-page internal school district report, which has not been publicly released, raised serious questions about various aspects of the contract, including the bidding process. The report also looked at whether officials on the panel reviewing bids owned Apple stock and did not reveal this early enough in the process, according to The Times.
My colleague, Ben Herold, has written extensively about LAUSD's ambitious 1-to-1 iPad plan, and the problems that have plagued the initiative. He's looked at concerns about the Pearson curriculum intended for use with the devices and did a Q&A with Mark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the Los Angeles district, who helped negotiate the iPad deal.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasey told The Times that he had not yet seen the internal district report detailing concerns with the contracting process and could not comment.
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