Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An iPad for Every Student

The Los Angeles public school district recently signed a contract with Apple to buy an iPad for every one of its students. The district has agreed to pay $678 per iPad, which is more than iPads cost in stores. That adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars. The Los Angeles district has over 600,000 students, so the district is going to be buying a lot of iPads. This is not an expense the district can easily afford. In fact, Los Angeles Unified has had five consecutive years of budget deficits. I guess that’s not surprising, if this is the kind of financial decision the School Board often makes.

The superintendent says his goal is to “close the technology gap” for the many low-income students in the district, but technology doesn’t seem to be the central problem. Los Angeles Unified is a very depressed school district, regardless of how much technology students do or do not have. It continually has some of California’s lowest test scores, and almost 1/3 of its students do not finish high school. (Throughout the rest of the state, only 13% of students don’t make it to graduation.) The waste of money on fancy electronics seems even more egregious when we consider what a terrible job Los Angeles Unified currently does educating its students.

To add insult to injury, many of the students who will be receiving a taxpayer-funded iPad aren’t even supposed to be in the United States. Los Angeles has one of the highest illegal alien populations in the U.S. Almost 400,000 illegal aliens live in this district. Almost a third of its students are classified as “English learners.”

You may want to keep these kinds of frivolous expenses in mind next time your own school district asks for a tax increase. In the district I live in, the school board is asking for a tax increase almost every year.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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