Los Angeles school district puts $1 billion iPad rollout on hold

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The Los Angeles Unified School District decided to blow its entire $1 billion tech budget on an iPad for every student last year, but after security hacks and supply issues got the program off to a rocky start, the district has decided to adjust course and let on a few challengers.

Officials at the U.S.’s second-largest school district have decided to allow a group of high schools to choose between six devices instead of the iPad, effectively putting distribution of Apple’s tablet on hold district-wide.

Each of the 27 high schools in the program is authorized to choose and purchase one of six different laptops for their students, reports the Los Angeles Times. Picks for new devices were made last Friday and the Board of Education is scheduled to review the contracts, which are not to exceed $40 million per order, today.

After launching the iPad program with tremendous urgency, LAUSD board member Monica Ratcliff said the changes allow schools more flexibility for students.

“The benefit of the new approach is clear. Why would we treat all our students — whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman — as if they all had the same technology needs? They don’t… To have a one-device-fits-all approach does not make sense.”

Two schools have already chosen the Lenovo Yoga Touch over iPad, one picked Dell’s Latitude E7240 and two scooped up the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. One principal even went so far as to call the Surface “really sexy,” though she’s rightly worried how the students will like its loseable/breakable/detachable keyboard.

A couple other campuses have chosen Google Chromebooks, which the only option likely to cost the same amount as the iPad, though negotiations on final prices are still in process.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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