Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Did Maine overpay for iPads in schools?

Maine, home of the first statewide one-to-one computers in schools program, may have paid to much for the iPads that replaced Apple laptops in many schools a year ago.

In yesterday's Portland Press Herald, I reported on an analyst's detailed comparison of what Maine's Department of Education paid for its iPad package from Apple with what the Los Angels United School District paid for the same technology at the same time for a similarly sized program. Maine got half the discount against retail that LAUSD negotiated.

The LAUSD contract has since come unraveled because of allegedly inpappropriate ties between top district officials and both Apple and curriculum software provider Pearson. At issue is whether the district paid too much -- not too little -- for its iPad contract.

Last week, I reported that the head of Maine's program, Jeff Mao, is leaving state government. He was also at the center of a public records scandal of sorts involving the same analyst who crunched the numbers comparing Maine and L.A.

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