L.A. Unified’s much-criticized iPad initiative comes under the spotlight again

lausd-ipadA former L.A. schools superintendent has stepped forward to criticize a $1 billion effort to provide every student, teacher and campus administrator with a tablet or laptop computer. William J. Johnston, 87, did not object to the goal, but focused instead on using school-construction bonds to fund the project, which, so far, has involved purchasing iPads.

“I believe the current purchase of iPads from school bonds is illegal,” Johnston wrote in a Feb. 6 letter to the committee that oversees the spending of the voter-approved funding. The bonds are paid back through increases in property taxes.

The letter was included in materials for the committee’s  meeting.

“iPads are known to last for approximately three years,” Johnston wrote. “New developments and technology will make them obsolete, requiring replacements. School bonds are designed to buy property, build schools, equip schools with lasting equipment. School bonds are paid for over a 25-year period.”

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