iPad Contract for Los Angeles Schools Is Canceled
The 2013 iPad deal with the L.A. school district has been canceled after concerns surface about how the contract was bid and awarded.A $1.3 billion contract that would have provided an Apple iPad to each of the 640,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been cancelled after questions and concerns surfaced about the bidding process that led to the June 2013 contract. In addition to the contract's cancellation, a federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents from the school district as legal inquiries continue into the process that led to the deal, according to a Dec. 2 report in the Los Angeles Times. So far, the FBI has seized more than 20 boxes of documents from the school district in connection with the probe, the Times reported. "The subpoena asked for documents related to the bidding process as well as to the winning bidders in the $1.3 billion effort to provide a computer to every student, teacher and campus administrator," according to the report. The contract called for Apple to supply iPads, along with curriculum from a subcontractor, educational book vendor Pearson. "The investigation is a broad one, seeking records related to Apple and Pearson that predate the bidding process or that involve other projects, according to the subpoena." The Times reported that former L.A. schools Superintendent John Deasy's "role in the iPad project drew attention after disclosures of close ties he had with executives at Apple and Pearson," according to the story. "Deasy, who resigned under pressure in October, has denied any wrongdoing, and board members also have said they don't believe he was guilty of any illegal actions."
After the FBI seized the school district documents, schools Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines decided to "shelve" the contract, the Times reported. "We're not going to use the original iPad contract anymore," Cortines said. "I think there have been too many innuendos, rumors, etc., and based on my reading of a great deal of material over Thanksgiving, I came to this conclusion. As CEO and steward of a billion-dollar operation, I have to make sure things are done properly so they are not questioned."