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LA schools to get 45K more iPads for spring tests

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Officials at the Los Angeles Unified School District put in order with Apple Thursday to buy 45,000 new devices for student standardized testing in the spring. After weeks of negotiation, the price dropped by more than $200 from earlier rounds to $504 per device - but doesn't include Pearson education software preloaded on the other devices.

Deasy had initially proposed to buy 67,500 tablets for testing, far more than the district's Bond Oversight Committee had deemed necessary. That body said 38,500 was more appropriate. 

Earlier this month, the school board debated those numbers and couldn't come to a consensus - so the board agreed to allow administrators to buy as many as they thought were necessary.

"You need optimum testing environments for kids," board president Richard Vladovic said at that meeting.

Some board members had also expressed concern about paying full price for an older iPad model that was in the purchase contract negotiated this summer. But Thursday's deal is for the new iPad Air and includes a case and three-year warranty.

Schools across California are rush ordering computers so students can take digital assessments in the spring. L.A. Unified is scheduled to begin testing early April.