Feds won't file charges after investigation of LAUSD iPad program
Federal investigators have closed their inquiry into the Los Angeles Unified School District's troubled iPad program without charging any of the current or former district officials involved, according to a statement from the head attorney for the school system.
The decision ends a probe that officially opened in 2014 — within months of a KPCC investigation —into L.A. Unified officials' troubled $1.3 billion attempt to supply every student in the nation's second-largest school district with a tablet computer.
"Since then, the District had been fully cooperating with the federal government’s investigation," read the statement from L.A. Unified attorney David Holmquist.
The iPad effort was the brainchild of former L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy, who saw the marriage of Apple technology and software developed by publishing giant Pearson as a new opportunity for students to learn. In 2013, with officials estimating the effort would cost around $500 million, L.A. school board members gave the program the green light.
But many L.A. residents balked at the program's ballooning cost. For example, original projections did not take into account how much it would cost to equip every school with the wireless internet needed to operate the iPads.
The district purchased the iPads using bond dollars, which left some voters, who felt they had been approving bond measures to build new classrooms to relieve overcrowding, feeling misled.
It also became clear the Pearson software pre-loaded on the iPads wasn’t even finished. A KPCC investigation, published in Aug. 2014, revealed Deasy had close Feds won't file charges after investigation of LAUSD iPad program | 89.3 KPCC: