LAUSD 'Extremely Dissatisfied' with Pearson and Apple, Demands Refund

The story of Los Angeles Unified School District's beleaguered $1.3 billion 1-to-1 iPad program has taken a new twist: The district is now demanding a refund from Apple and has told the company it will not spend any more money on the Pearson software installed on the devices, according to reports.

According to Southern California Public Radio, which broke the story yesterday, the school district's attorney, David Holmquist, wrote a letter to Apple's general counsel claiming that Apple and Pearson had failed to deliver on the promise of "a state-of-the-art technological solution for [the district's Instructional Technology Initiative] implementation" and noted that the district is "extremely dissatisfied" with the solution in its present form. Further, SCPR reported, the district "is seeking a multi-million-dollar refund" from Apple and could take the company to court, should an agreement not be reached.

Following a number of serious issues, LAUSD's massive 650,000-student 1-to-1 iPad deployment was put on hold last summer, by which time some 120,000 iPads had already been purchased. Capping off the troubles for the program, this fall the FBI stepped in to begin an investigation into the process by which Pearson and Apple were selected as vendors for the initiative.

Pearson spokesperson Stacy Skelly told THE Journal: "Pearson is proud of our long history working with LAUSD and our significant investment in this groundbreaking initiative to transform instructional practices and raise expectations for all students. This was a large-scale implementation of new technologies and there have been challenges with the initial adoption, but we stand by the quality of our performance."

Apple did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).