Los Angeles Unified Sets Aside $40M to Purchase Non-Apple Devices

THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE: Los Angeles Unified's $30 million $1 billion iPad deal with Apple understandably left a sour taste for stakeholders, with unclear costs, unfinished curriculum and getting "hacked" among other issues. But district officials appear to have learned from that experience. The Los Angeles Times reports that they will let 27 high schools "choose from among six different laptop computers," such as Chromebook, Microsoft Surface Pro 2, Lenovo Yoga Touch and Dell Latitude E7240. Cost isn't the only factor, since some of these cost more than an iPad (which retails at $279). The board will authorize the purchase of these devices at a total cost "not to exceed $40 million."

"Why would we treat all our students--whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman--as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't...To have a one-device-fits-all approach does not make sense," Los Angeles Unified board member, Monica Ratliff told the Times.

These devices will be tested in this fall, along with content from Pearson, McGraw-Hill/StudySync, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Meanwhile, district-wide deployments of iPads remain on hold.

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