Apple's push for iPads in education stalls as LA school district offices raided by FBI

Apple's push for iPads in education stalls as LA school district offices raided by FBI


It is no secret that Apple traditionally bets huge on the education market, priding itself on the proliferation of iPads in schools all over this country, and several others like Turkey, for example. Let's not forget also the iTunes U undertaking, but the goal to slip an iPad in every student's hand, and load it with courses from there, is slowly starting to evaporate.

First it was the advent of Google's cheap Chromebooks, which allow one and the same machine to be easily used with different accounts, unlike the iPad, not to mention how much money schools save by using those device in lieu of Apple's tablets. Granted, the modest Chromebook doesn't have the cool factor and the app ecosystem of the iPad, but comes for two Benjamins or so, while when you equip an iPad with the much needed for school work physical keyboard, the price for the schools can easily triple that.

Case in point now is the LA school district, whose offices just got raided by the FBI, forcing them to hand boxes full of documents about the bidding process on a $1.3 billion order for 550, 000 iPads. 

The money was supposed to go to buying the tablets from Apple, and loading some Pearson educational software on them, but the grand total has ballooned so out of proportion, that it now warrants a federal investigation. This doesn't bode well for Apple's educational push, in a time when the tablet market comes crushing down, and after Apple issued a dedicated press release to brag about the deal with the LA school district back in the summer.

source: Apple & LA Times

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20 Comments

1. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Pay your teachers, not Apple. Maybe my calculator is broken, but why am I coming up with $2,363.63 per iPad? That seems extraordinarily high, even for Apple.

3. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

And why was the "least expensive" option that expensive? I doubt that those schools would have gotten Chromebook Pixels if they picked Google's offer.

13. needa

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

It is $289 for a chromebook. That includes the admin portal and support. From there they add apps and such. You can find it all over at google slash edu. There is no reason to assume the apple bid was the cheapest. If anything... One would assume the opposite.

15. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Exactly. Apple doesn't bid low. They feel they have a product that people will pay stupidly for (and most do).

4. Ninetysix

Posts: 2931; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Read the LA Times article. Your answer is there.

8. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Need to add in the marketing surcharge. Apple has had a team of people pitching the tablets to LAUSD for probably 5 years. Those people don't work for free. Therefore, the 'marketing surcharge'.

2. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Apple put the high price of iPAD, so it will have extra money to bribe!!!

5. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Woah iRad

6. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Apple, bleeding you directly or through taxes, in some cases both.

7. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

History is doomed to repeat its self. I was going to school when almost all my classrooms had apple 2's back in the early 90's. By 5th grade the school system was switching to dell pc's loaded with windows 95. Apple is to focused on its margins and needs to look at history before its tool late. Learn your lesson apple!! As a side note. Tools for education are great however if you don't invest in your teachers the tools are a waste. This purchase seems outright rediculous and selfish. I think customized software on nexus tablets or chromebooks will get the job done

9. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 910; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

I don't understand what's wrong with using a chalkboard for the teacher and pencil and paper for the students. Seemed to work well for all of us. I prefer using that money to paying teachers better and smaller class sizes, Things proven to be effective instead of trendy.

16. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

You mean carrying around massive books and notebooks, plus pen, paper and calculator? I've been using a tab with *wacom* pen support for a couple of years now and it is wonderful. Carrying it around is about 1/4-1/3 of what my bag was in college. Not to mention the long term savings of paper, pencil and paper books. Come into the 21st century. I'm not saying they need to buy junk iPads that are overpriced and under perform. But it is time to move to and use technology.

20. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 910; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

You know how many notebooks, pens and pencils I can buy for the price of an ipad? Plus you don't save on the price of text books because they charge the same. I logistically don't see savings or benefits here when it comes to elementary schools. I just used the trunk of car as a locker and preferred it to when I can using my laptop to take my notes but to each their own when it comes from your pocket instead of tax dollars and no benefits to learning.

10. PK1983

Posts: 215; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

LAUSD bleeds money, CA bleeds money and they think spending $1,300,000,000 for IPads makes sense. The FBI needs to arrest not only the Superintendent but the entire School Board as there is obvious fraud going on here. I went to an LAUSD school, and I can tell you the kids don't deserve a $50 Android Tablet from China let alone what I assume would be an IPad Air 2 at almost 5 times the price. How many of those IPads do they think will be 1.) functional by year end or 2.) not stolen or "lost" by years end? Spend $100,000,000 on putting A/C in classrooms, or on better books, or opt out of the Moochie Obama starvation program and feed these kids correctly. Anything but this waste of taxpayer dollars.

11. skymitch89

Posts: 1451; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Even if the LA school district were to buy 550,000 128GB iPad Air 2 w/cellular connectivity ($829 each), that would only cost $455,950,000 (aka. less than $500 million, and would still be less than $500 million after sales tax: $496,985,500). That means either the people who gave the quote were quoting about 3x more for the iPads than they cost, charging an outrageous "finders fee", or Pearson is charging an outrageous amount for their software. I think it's a bit of a combo of all 3 of the aforementioned scenarios.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2931; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Or you can read the LA times article to find the answer.

18. mistah.vega

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 04, 2014

Yes Apple is a little overpriced but I definately think Pearson is the one ripping school systems off, just look at that PowerSchool crap Pearson sells and for a high price.

12. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

s**tty overpriced iTrash...

17. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Our school had a couple hundred iPads, but we got rid of most of them and now we have lots Chromebooks instead.

19. kurama.

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 13, 2014

Wouldn't a surface pro be more better for this job. After all you can literally write on it.

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