Los Angeles Schools Settle iPad Software Dispute
The $6.4 million software settlement is the first part of a legal battle involving the cancellation of a $1.3 billion plan to buy iPads for every student.The Los Angeles Unified School District has reached a $6.4 million settlement with education software vendor Pearson, 10 months after the district cancelled a $1.3 billion contract that would have bought Apple iPads for every student, teacher and administrator in the district. The settlement, reported Sept. 25 in the Los Angeles Times, involves allegedly problematic software that was part of the original iPad purchase initiative, which was cancelled in December 2014 after questions were raised about the bidding process that led to the massive deal. The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate that original contract, which included Pearson as a subcontractor providing curriculum software. The tentative settlement is expected to be approved by the school district this month, the article reported. Apple will pay $4.2 million to the district since Pearson was a subcontractor, the report continued. "That amount of money doesn't make up for the damage to the district's reputation or compensate for the amount of time lost by students and educators in this misbegotten project," Scott Folsom, a member of the independent committee that oversees school modernization and construction bonds, told the Times.
The district had purchased more than 40,000 iPads with the Pearson curriculum at $768 each, for a total of $30.7 million, the article reported. Pearson's software included math and English curriculum, but the software allegedly had problems. "The district later accused Pearson of providing an underwhelming product beset by technical glitches," the Times reported. "Consultants concluded that few teachers even used the Pearson software."