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LAUSD in talks with Apple, Pearson to settle software dispute

Brayan Aguilar, 17, and Yadira Aragon, 16, use iPads to read electronic books in a literacy class at Diego Rivera Learning Complex.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
FILE: Los Angeles Unified is nearing a settlement with Apple Inc. over faulty Pearson software installed on its iPads.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is negotiating a settlement that could end its dispute with Apple Inc. and Pearson Education over faulty software in iPads purchased from the computer giant.

The district told Apple in April that it would not spend another dollar on the Pearson software installed on its iPads and demanded a multimillion-dollar refund.

Teachers have complained about numerous problems with the Pearson software, including missing math problems and material that contained errors. 

David Holmquist, LAUSD general counsel, said in a letter to Apple that it had promised a  state-of-the-art solution for the district's Instructional Technology Initiative, the name for the iPad program. But Holmquist said the Apple and Pearson "have yet to deliver it."

Initially, the tablets were to go into the hands of each student in the district, but after problems with its rollout and mounting costs, the initiative was scaled back

A Pearson spokesman told KPCC in September 2014 that there were important enhancements to add to the software “as there always will be” and that “no digital product should ever be considered complete."

LAUSD issued a statement Friday saying that the district is in “cooperative discussions with our vendors about resolving past concerns around the Pearson content.”

“Given the cooperative nature of these discussions, we anticipate there will be a proposal for the LAUSD Board of Education to consider in [the] near future,” the district stated.

The LA School Report first reported the settlement talks Friday.