LOS ANGELES (Feb. 12, 2013) — The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board today voted 6-0, with one abstention, in favor of a measure to spend $50 million in voter-approved bond funds to pay for a computing device for every student at 47 schools.
The vote is the first phase in the District’s $500 million plan to equip every one of its students with a device by 2014. When completed, the LAUSD will become the largest district in the nation to provide each of its students with the technology, according to Jaime Aquino, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction.
“Support for the Common Core Technology Project Plan is our commitment to transform teaching and learning in the classroom,” said Board President Mónica García. “It means support to close the digital divide, to close the achievement gap, and move us closer to 100% graduation.”
“Change is always good,” she added. “In 1999, it meant 131 new schools for our children, and in 2013, it means technology for all.”
“This is a critical first step towards providing all our students with the skills they need to survive and thrive in today’s world,” said Board Vice President Tamar Galatzan. “To further delay, and not approve, the funds to equip our students with today’s technology could shortchange a generation of young people.”
“I am proud to support the Common Core Technology Project Plan,” said Board Member Nury Martinez. “Technology is our most potent tool in educating and engaging our children. Although this represents a significant investment, it is nothing compared to the costs of failing to equip Los Angeles’ students to compete in a world that has been made ever smaller by advances in technology.”
Several principals from around the District told the Board how critically important the initiative is for improving educational opportunities and access at their schools.
“We need 21st century tools in the hands of every student and teacher,” said John Lawler, principal of ArTES, the Art Theater Entertainment (High) School in the San Fernando Valley.
“You are opening a world of opportunity to children who do not have it,” said Camellia Hudley, principal of Leapwood Elementary School.
The devices approved in this phase will be made available to students at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
Contact: Tom Waldman (213) 241-6766