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LAUSD Supt. Deasy delays plan for tablet computers

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy in Sept.

The group that oversees school-construction bond spending fell short of approving money to buy tablet computers for students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The appointed Bond Oversight Committee voted 7 to 3 for the plan Wednesday, but that was one vote shy of the eight needed according to committee bylaws, officials said.

Committee actions are not binding on the elected Board of Education or on L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy, but its spending preferences are rarely overruled. The committee, in fact, almost always authorizes plans put forward by L.A. Unified. The oversight committee was established as part of the issuance of voter-approved school bonds.

Deasy, who is pushing to provide tablet computers for all students, said he would delay bringing his plan to the Board of Education for final approval.

The oversight committee "rejected the first step in a project to provide all LAUSD students with the technology to succeed in the classroom and workplace of the 21st century,” said Deasy.  “The committee’s action is a setback to our efforts to make LAUSD K-12 students competitive with the best school districts in the country.” 

Deasy had sought agreement on spending $17.4-million to fund a demonstration project at 14 secondary schools. The entire proposal is estimated to cost about $450 million for equipment and additional funding to set up wireless Internet access at schools.

-- Howard Blume

Photo: L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy, shown in September, is pushing to provide tablet computers for all students. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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