LA Schools Suspend A Billion-Dollar Contract With Apple (AAPL)

Sam Colt

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has suspended a billion-dollar program to put iPads in its schools, according to an LA Times report.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy announce the setback in a memo to the district's Board of Education.

"This Informative is to advise the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education of our decision to implement a new Request for Proposals (RFP) solicitation for personal computing devices before bringing future phases of the Common Core Technology Project (CCTP) for consideration for approval," Deasy wrote. "Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple Inc."

News of the contract's suspension comes as Deasy has come under fire for his handling of the project's bidding process. 

The contract's bidding rules gave Apple an unfair advantage, according to the Times. Pearson was chosen to be a subcontractor for the iPad project; it's the company responsible for offering the curriculum on the iPads.

The suspension of LAUSD's iPad contract also bears political ramifications. The district's teacher's union has called for an investigation of the project's bidding process. That same union is currently locked in negotiations with Deasy.

The iPad rollout last year was also marred with setbacks, according to the Times. Students quickly managed to disable the security features that prevented them from accessing the internet. Some school principals noted that the iPad's lack of a physical keyboard would make getting schoolwork done more difficult.

Despite this obvious setback for Apple, the company has reason to be hopeful.

"We expect our current contractor and their subcontractor to participate in the upcoming [bidding process]," said Deasy in the memo.

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