We've reached the inevitable next stage of the $1.3 billion Los Angeles iPad debacle: furious district administrators don't want any more of the accursed devices—they just want a refund.
The L.A. Unified School District has directed its attorneys to consider legal action against the two companies—Apple and Pearson—contracted to provide iPads and accompanying curriculum for every student in the district. The mind-bogglingly expensive program proved to be a total catastrophe; no one knew what to do about lost or stolen iPads, and teachers struggled to implement the unreliable curriculum.
At this point, district officials just want to get their money back, according to The Los Angeles Time:
L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines "made the decision that he wanted to put them on notice, Pearson in particular, that he's dissatisfied with their product," said David Holmquist, general counsel for the nation's second-largest school system. He said millions of dollars could be at stake.
In a letter sent Monday to Apple, Holmquist wrote that it "will not accept or compensate Apple for new deliveries of [Pearson] curriculum." Nor does the district want to pay for further services related to the Pearson product.
Many L.A. taxpayers probably hope the lawsuit is successful—it was their money, after all, and Pearson is a thoroughly unsympathetic crony-capitalist enterprise. But perhaps it will be less costly for taxpayers in the long run if the district learns a hard lesson about wasting millions of dollars on pie-in-the-sky fantasies.