The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Los Angeles Schools:
Great iPad Scam

Nov 25, 2013

When the Los Angeles school district agreed to buy 700,000 iPads at $768 apiece, way above retail price, district officials said it was because the iPads came with software containing English and math curriculum.

As it turned out, however, the district was only buying a license to use the software for three years–less than three years, in fact, because thousands of the iPads will not even be delivered until late 2016, about six months before the license expires. After that, the school district will have to renew the license, for $50 to $100 a year per iPad–which could add up to more than 60 million dollars a year.

Normally when you buy a computer, you buy the software that goes with it, and the software is yours. But apparently not if your name is L.A. Unified School District, and you’re buying from Pearson, the major textbook company!

Computer software is even more profitable for Pearson, because they charge the same kind of prices they charge for textbooks, without having to print books anymore. And L.A. Unified is only too happy to hook them up!