LOS ANGELES – Has there ever been a government program that stayed within its original budget?
The Los Angeles school district recently agreed to purchase an iPad for every student enrolled, to the tune of $1 billion.
But now the district is claiming the devices are going to cost $100 more per student – a 14 percent increase, according to the Los Angeles Times. Fourteen percent of $1 billion is $140 million. Ouch.
The Times reports the initial estimate for each iPad was made before the “procurement process.” In other words, they just picked a number out of the air and it turned out to be too low. Government’s never done that!
But what’s with all the taxpayer grousing? This is a civil right! Or so claim district leaders.
“This is a civil rights issue. My goal is to provide youth in poverty with tools that heretofore only rich kids have had. And I’d like to do that as quickly as possible,” Superintendent John Deasy told the Times in a different story.
Deasy added the program has been “an astonishing success.”
Some classrooms are unable to connect to the internet, rendering the devices virtually useless for instruction. Some students have successfully bypassed the district’s security firewall, allowing them to access social media and inappropriate websites.
And the initial bid that included keyboards was too high, so the district eliminated that component.
This has all the markings of a classic government boondoggle.
But never fear, “we are right where we want to be,” according to the budget document made public by the district.
By Kyle Olson at EAGnews.org