Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines announced last Friday that he does not believe the district has the money to pay for technology for every student.
“As I have stated before publically, we are committed to providing technology to our children — whether it be desktop computer labs, laptops or tablets — to help prepare them for the 21st century,” Cortines said. “However, as we are reviewing our lessons learned, there must be a balanced approach to spending bond dollars to buy technology when there are so many brick and mortar and other critical facility needs that must be met.”
Cortines added that he does think the district will need to identify ongoing resources to fund the curriculum that is pre-loaded on some of the devices it has given out, but that is why he believes that currently the district does not have sufficient funds to purchase and maintain technology in a one-to-one model.
“We must also consider the issue of replacing the devices, along with offering professional development to help teachers infuse technology into their class lessons,” he said. “We must think and act for the long term.”
The announcement comes as a reversal of a $1.3-billion effort by former Superintendent John Deasy to distribute iPads to all students, teachers and school administrators in the LAUSD. Deasy resigned in October under pressure and criticism over district technology efforts, among other issues. In December, the FBI seized documents related to the project as part of a criminal investigation into the bidding process for the iPads. The devices were given to 47 schools in 2013.
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