Rally Held to Fight $1B School iPad Plan

Parents and teachers say LAUSD iPad program "ignores the basic needs of students."

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    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Second graders work on Apple Inc. iPads as part of their classroom work at Park Lane Elementary school, in the Canyons School District, in Sandy, Utah, U.S. on Monday, May 20, 2013. As technology becomes more integrated in the classroom, in addition to Apple, other manufacturers including Microsoft corp., Amazon.com Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., and News Corp.'s are turning toward education. Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    A rally for "Repairs Not iPads" was held Tuesday to fight a $1 billion plan in the nation's second-largest school district to put an iPad in the hands of its 650,000 students.

    Community members claims that LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy’s "proposal to spend the money on iPads is a vanity project that ignores the basic needs of students," according to a press release.

    The tablets cost almost $700 apiece and are paid for by voter-approved bond money.

    Former LAUSD Superintendent William J. Johnston and California Assemblyman Curt Hagman both believe that Deasy is misusing bond funds.

    Johnston’s reasoning is that use of repair and construction bond money to fund the purchase of tablets for every student and teacher in the district is illegal.

    Similarly, Hagman introduced Assembly Bill 1754 which aims to ban the use of school bond money for iPads.

    Monica Garcia, an LAUSD board member, said that providing all LAUSD students and staff with iPads or laptop computers would not take away funding from essential programs.

    "The iPad program is strictly an investment from our bond program, which is separate from our general fund," Garcia told NBC4.

    School district officials faced an embarrassing glitch when the first round of tablets went out last year.

    Instead of solving math problems or doing English homework, as administrators envisioned, more than 300 Los Angeles Unified School District students promptly cracked the security settings and started tweeting, posting to Facebook and playing video games.

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