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So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Updated: LA schools' superintendent faces school board after days of questions on iPad plan

File: Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy  speaks during a press conference at South Region High School #2 in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2012.
File: Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy speaks during a press conference at South Region High School #2 in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2012. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles Unified school board member Monica Ratliff formally released a report that was leaked to media last week, outlining concerns about the district's iPad project.

The report was released during the first public school board meeting of the school year.

Ratliff and school board member Tamar Galatzan engaged in a heated back and forth over Ratliff's decision to require a lengthy confidentiality agreement before allowing board members and district staffers to view the draft report. The report was leaked to KPCC and the Los Angeles Times before she had reviewed it.

The meeting started more than two hours late because closed session discussions over negotiations with the teacher's union went long, according to board president Richard Vladovic, and the board severely limited the number of public speakers who could comment on problems with the iPad program.

Earlier:

Los Angeles Unified school board members met Tuesday afternoon in the first public meeting since Friday, when Superintendent John Deasy began facing a rush of questions about his relationships with executives at Pearson.

Emails obtained by KPCC led some school board members and other district watchers to question whether Deasy's relationship with Pearson paved a path for the software company to land a contract, without giving other competitors a fair shot during the open bid process. A committee led by school board member Monica Ratliff has been asking that same question for months.

Monday evening, after news of the emails broke, Deasy announced he was abandoning the contract with Apple and Pearson and would open its one-to-one technology project to new bids.

Deasy has declined multiple interview requests from KPCC. In an interview with KCRW Tuesday, Deasy said he accepted criticism that he should have acted sooner but denied any wrongdoing. He said he was not involved in designing the specifications for bid proposals or choosing the winners. 

"The contracting process was reviewed," he said, adding later in regard to the emails:  "It wasn't inappropriate. I meet with vendors all the time."

To follow updates from today's school board meeting, view tweets from KPCC's Mary Plummer below.

This story has been updated.

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